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How can Language be linked to Economics? A Survey of Two Strands of Research

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  • Weiguo Zhang

    ()
    (Center fo Economic Rsearch, Shandong University, 27 South Shanda Road, Shandong, P.R.China,250100)

  • Gilles Grenier

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, 55 Laurier E., Ottawa,Ontario)

Abstract

As the use of languages is playing a more and more important role in economic activities with the globalization of the world economy, there is growing interest in the relationship between language and economic theory. The rapidly expanding literature in this field, however, is highly fragmented. It is difficult to tell what this field of study focuses on, what has actually been investigated, and what remains to be studied. The authors attempt to review, assess and categorize the major orientations of the research on the economics of language. Those include a traditional strand of research that has focused on language and economic status, the dynamic development of languages, and language policy and planning, as well as a new strand based on game theory and pragmatics. The authors propose the use of the term “Language and economics” to define this area of research.

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Paper provided by University of Ottawa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1206E.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:1206e

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Keywords: economics of language; language skill; human capital; language planning; game theory; pragmatics.;

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  1. Gilles Grenier, 1987. "Earnings by Language Group in Quebec in 1980 and Emigration from Quebec between 1976 and 1981," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 20(4), pages 774-91, November.
  2. Aldashev, Alisher & Gernandt, Johannes & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2009. "Language usage, participation, employment and earnings: Evidence for foreigners in West Germany with multiple sources of selection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 330-341, June.
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