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Foreign Languages and Trade

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  • Fidrmuc, Jan
  • Fidrmuc, Jarko

Abstract

Cultural factors and especially common languages are well-known determinants of trade. By contrast, the knowledge of foreign languages was not explored in the literature so far. We combine traditional gravity models with data on fluency in the main languages used in EU and candidate countries. We show that widespread knowledge of languages is an important determinant for foreign trade, with English playing an especially important role. Other languages (French, German, and Russian) play an important role mainly in particular regions. Furthermore, we argue that the effect of foreign languages on trade may be non-linear. The robustness of our results is confirmed by quantile regressions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7228.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7228

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Keywords: European integration; foreign trade; Gravity models; language; quantile regression;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nicolas Sauter, 2009. "Talking Trade: Language Barriers in Intra-Canadian Commerce," FIW Working Paper series 023, FIW.
  2. Daria Ciriaci & Alessandro Muscio, 2011. "University choice, research quality and graduates' employability: Evidence from Italian national survey data," Working Papers 48, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
  3. Ingo E. Isphording, 2013. "Returns to Foreign Language Skills of Immigrants in Spain," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 27(4), pages 443-461, December.
  4. Peter Egger & Andrea Lassmann, 2014. "Cultural Integration and Export Variety Overlap Across Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 4800, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten & Libman, Alexander & Yu, Xiaofan, 2014. "Economic integration in China: Politics and culture," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 470-492.
  6. Fidrmuc, Jarko & Senaj, Matus, 2012. "Human Capital, Consumption, and Housing Wealth in Transition," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62058, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  7. Brindusa Anghel & Antonio Cabrales & Jesus M. Carro, 2012. "Evaluating a bilingual education program in Spain: the impact beyond foreign language learning," Working Papers 2012/30, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  8. Helble, Matthias & Ngiang, Boon-Loong, 2014. "From Global Factory to Global Mall: East Asia’s Changing Trade Composition," ADBI Working Papers 496, Asian Development Bank Institute.

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