Productivity, Social Interaction and Communication
AbstractIn this paper, we study how, depending on the sociological and technological characteristics of the economy, a "unified" or, on the contrary, a stratified way of communicating may émerge. Communication takes place less efficiently in the stratified case, because people who spend différent languages cannot communicate with each other. The main results of the paper are as follows. First, the equilibrium degree of literacy is suboptimally low because of the "thin market externality" associated with the language. Second, social stratification generates linguistic stratification and the associated output and welfare losses due to communication failure. Third, because of the thin market externality, there is too much stratification. Fourth, specialized technologies are less vulnerable to stratification than flexible ones, or, equivalently, increased fiexibility may have adverse effects on output when society is stratified.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) with number 2002022.
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Economies of language; Productivity; Communication;
Other versions of this item:
- Gilles Saint-Paul, 2002. "Productivity, Social Interaction and Communication," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 68(1), pages 111-123.
- D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
- P. Diamond, 1980.
"Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium,"
268, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Andreas Blume, 1998.
"Coordination and Learning with a Partial Language,"
CIG Working Papers
FS IV 98-11, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
- Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997.
"The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences,"
DELTA Working Papers
97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
- Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul M, 1996. "Ethnic Networks and Language Proficiency among Immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 19-35, February.
- Edward P. Lazear, 1995.
"Culture and Language,"
NBER Working Papers
5249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lang, Kevin, 1986. "A Language Theory of Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 363-82, May.
- Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
- Pieter Serneels, 2002.
"Explaining Non-Negative Duration Dependence Among the Unemployed,"
Economics Series Working Papers
WPS/2002-13, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Pieter Serneels, 2004. "Explaining Non-Negative Duration Dependence Among the Unemployed," Development and Comp Systems 0409013, EconWPA.
- Pieter Serneels, 2002. "Explaining Non-Negative Duration Dependence Among the Unemployed," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sebastien SCHILLINGS).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.