Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Languages in the European Union: The Quest for Equality and its Cost

Contents:

Author Info

  • Jan Fidrmuc

    ()

  • Victor Ginsburgh

    ()

Abstract

The European Union has recently expanded from 15 to 25 countries, bringing the number of official languages to 20. Currently, the EU extends equal treatment to all member countries’ official languages. This, however, is costly, especially since many Europeans speak one of the procedural languages, English, French or German, either as a native or a foreign language. We develop a simple theoretical model of linguistic-regime choice in a multilingual society and apply the model’s insights to the case of the EU: we compute disenfranchisement rates that would result from using only the three procedural languages for all EU business and then proceed to quantify the average cost per person and cost per disenfranchised person associated with providing translations and interpreting into the remaining languages. Both the disenfranchisement rates and costs are shown to vary substantially across the different languages, raising important questions about the economic efficiency of equal treatment for all languages. We argue that an efficient solution would be to decentralize the provision of translations.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.brunel.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/342677/CEDI_06-15.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University in its series CEDI Discussion Paper Series with number 06-15.

as in new window
Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edb:cedidp:06-15

Contact details of provider:
Postal: CEDI, Brunel University,West London,UB8 3PH,United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1895 266649
Fax: +44 (0)1895 266649
Web page: http://www.cedi.org.uk
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. GINSBURGH, Victor & WEBER, Shlomo, . "Language disenfranchisement in the European Union," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1831, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. GINSBURGH, Victor & ORTUNO-ORTIN, Ignacio & WEBER, Shlomo, 2004. "Disenfranchisement in linguistically diverse societies. The case of the European Union," CORE Discussion Papers 2004080, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Jan Fidrmuc & Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber , 2008. "Voting on the Choice of Core Languages in the European Union ," Working Papers 005-08, International School of Economics at TSU, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.
  2. Muravyev, Alexander & Talavera, Oleksandr, 2010. "Can State Language Policies Distort Students' Demand for Higher Education?," IZA Discussion Papers 5411, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. Mejer, Malwina & van Pottelsberghe, Bruno, 2008. "The London Agreement and the Cost of Patenting in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 7033, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2012. "Culture Languages and Economics," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2012-009, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Piekkari, Rebecca & Welch, Denice Ellen & Welch, Lawrence Stephenson & Peltonen, Jukka-Pekka & Vesa, Tiina, 2013. "Translation behaviour: An exploratory study within a service multinational," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 771-783.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:edb:cedidp:06-15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sarmistha Pal).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.