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Markets and linguistic diversity

  • Caminal, Ramon

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 76 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 774-790

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:76:y:2010:i:3:p:774-790
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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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, 06.
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