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Learning Foreign Languages.Theoretical and Empirical Implications of the Selten and Pool Model

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  • Ginsburgh, Victor
  • Ortuño-Ortín, Ignacio
  • Weber, Shlomo

Abstract

In this paper we adopt the Selten-Pool model (1993) framework of language acquisition that is based on the notion of communicative benefits and learning costs. We consider a model with languages that serve as imperfect substitutes and show that under supermodularity of the communicative benefits function and some other mild conditions, there exists a unique interior linguistic equilibrium. We then derive a demand function for foreign languages that we estimate for English, French, German and Spanish in 13 European countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4942.

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Date of creation: Mar 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4942

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Keywords: communicative benefits; estimation of demand functions for languages; European Union; languages; learning costs; linguistic distances;

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References

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  1. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2005. "Language Disenfranchisement in the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 273-286, 06.
  2. Victor Ginsburgh & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2005. "Disenfranchisement In Linguistically Diverse Societies: The Case Of The European Union," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 946-965, 06.
  3. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Culture and Language," NBER Working Papers 5249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Barry R. Chiswick, 1998. "Hebrew language usage: Determinants and effects on earnings among immigrants in Israel," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 253-271.
  5. McManus, Walter & Gould, William & Welch, Finis, 1983. "Earnings of Hispanic Men: The Role of English Language Proficiency," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 101-30, April.
  6. Lang, Kevin, 1986. "A Language Theory of Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 363-82, May.
  7. Jeffrey Church & Ian King, 1993. "Bilingualism and Network Externalities," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 337-45, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jacques Melitz, 2012. "A Framework for Analyzing Language and Welfare," Heriot-Watt University Economics Discussion Papers 1212, Department of Economics, School of Management and Languages, Heriot Watt University.
  2. Ku, Hyejin & Zussman, Asaf, 2010. "Lingua franca: The role of English in international trade," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 250-260, August.
  3. Lien, Donald & Oh, Chang Hoon & Selmier, W. Travis, 2012. "Confucius institute effects on China's trade and FDI: Isn't it delightful when folks afar study Hanyu?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 147-155.
  4. Antonio Di Paolo & Aysit Tansel, 2013. "Returns to Foreign Language Skills in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey," Working Papers XREAP2013-07, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Oct 2013.
  5. Efthymios Athanasiou & Santanu Dey & Giacomo Valleta, 2012. "On Sharing the Benefits of Communication," Working Papers 2012.41, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  6. Paulo A.L.D. Nunes & Laura Onofri & Jasone Cenoz & Durk Gorter, 2008. "Language Diversity in Urban Landscapes: An econometric study," Working Papers 2008.40, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  7. Oh, Chang Hoon & Travis Selmier, W. & Lien, Donald, 2011. "International trade, foreign direct investment, and transaction costs in languages," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 732-735.
  8. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2007. "La connaissance des langues en Belgique," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 31-43.
  9. Athanasiou Efthymios & Dey Santanu & Valletta Giacomo, 2012. "On Sharing the Benefits of Communication," Research Memorandum 016, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  10. Sperlich, Stefan & Uriarte Ayo, José Ramón, 2014. "The Economics of "Why is it so hard to save a threatened Language?"," IKERLANAK Ikerlanak;2014-77, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
  11. Jean Jaskold Gabszewicz & Victor Ginsburgh & Didier Laussel & Shlomo Weber, 2010. "Acquiring foreign languages: a two-sided market approach," Working Papers ECARES 2010_007, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Selmier, W. Travis & Oh, Chang Hoon, 2012. "International business complexity and the internationalization of languages," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 189-200.

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