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Markets and linguistic diversity

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  • Caminal, Ramon

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Caminal, Ramon, 2010. "Markets and linguistic diversity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 774-790, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:76:y:2010:i:3:p:774-790
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Victor Ginsburgh & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2005. "Disenfranchisement In Linguistically Diverse Societies: The Case Of The European Union," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 946-965, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ramon Caminal & Antonio Di Paolo, 2015. "Your Language or Mine?," Working Papers 852, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    2. Emilie Dargaud & Carlo Reggiani, 2015. "On The Price Effects Of Horizontal Mergers: A Theoretical Interpretation," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 236-255, July.
    3. Carlo Reggiani, 2014. "Spatial Price Discrimination in the Spokes Model," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 628-649, September.
    4. Ramon Caminal, 2013. "The economic value of reciprocal bilingualism," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 933.13, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    5. Carlo Reggiani, "undated". "Optimal Differentiation and Spatial Competition: The Spokes Model with Product Delivery," Discussion Papers 09/13, Department of Economics, University of York.
    6. Yongmin Chen & Xinyu Hua, 2017. "Competition, Product Safety, and Product Liability," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(2), pages 237-267.
    7. Yongmin Chen & Marius Schwartz, 2015. "Churn vs. Diversion: An Illustrative Model," Working Papers gueconwpa~15-15-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    8. Barañano Mentxaka, Ilaski & Kovarik, Jaromir & Uriarte Ayo, José Ramón, 2014. "Experimental Economics Meets Language Choice," IKERLANAK Ikerlanak;2014-82, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Product variety Language Translation;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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