Markets and linguistic diversity
Abstract Producers of cultural goods and media products can make their specific contents available to their audiences and readerships only through a particular language. The choice of language is a non-trivial decision in markets with bilingual or multilingual consumers. In this paper I argue that, the very existence of bilingual consumers may seriously bias market outcomes against minority languages. In particular, I show that the level of linguistic diversity determined by profit maximizing firms tends to be inefficiently low, except when and where the cost of producing a second linguistic version becomes sufficiently low. Thus, the model provides an efficiency argument supporting policies that protect the presence of minority languages in these markets.
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