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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
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  8. Shlomo Weber & Victor Ginsburgh & Sheila Weyers, 2008. "Economics of Literary Translation. A Simple Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2008.12, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  9. Melitz, Jacques, 2007. "The impact of English dominance on literature and welfare," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 193-215, October.
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  13. repec:clu:wpaper:0405-20 is not listed on IDEAS
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