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Languages, Genes, and Cultures

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  • Victor Ginsburgh

Abstract

This paper examines three situations in which distances between languages, genes, and cultures matter. The first is concerned with the determinants that govern the learning of foreign languages. One of these is the “difficulty” of the foreign language, represented by the distance between the native and the foreign language. The second case deals with the formation and breaking-up of nations. Here, it is suggested that genetic distances between regions with diversified populations (such as between the Basque country and the rest of Spain) need to be “compensated” by more generous transfer systems if the nation wants to avoid secession-prone behavior. The last case looks at a very popular cultural event, the Eurovision Song Contest, in which nations are represented by singers who are ranked by an international jury that consists of citizens chosen in each participating country. It is shown that what is often considered as logrolling in voting behavior is rather generated by voting for culturally and linguistically close neighbors. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Victor Ginsburgh, 2005. "Languages, Genes, and Cultures," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:29:y:2005:i:1:p:1-17
    DOI: 10.1007/s10824-005-4074-7
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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.
    2. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2005. "Language Disenfranchisement in the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 273-286, June.
    3. Victor Ginsburgh & Renato Flores Galvao, 1996. "The Queen Elisabeth Musical Competition: how fair is the final ranking," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1713, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Marco Haan & S. Dijkstra & Peter Dijkstra, 2005. "Expert Judgment Versus Public Opinion – Evidence from the Eurovision Song Contest," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 29(1), pages 59-78, February.
    5. Victor A. Ginsburgh & Jan C. van Ours, 2003. "Expert Opinion and Compensation: Evidence from a Musical Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 289-296, March.
    6. Cohen, Michael D. & Axelrod, Robert & Riolo, Rick, 2004. "Must there be human genes specific to prosocial behavior?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 49-51, January.
    7. GINSBURGH, Victor & ORTUNO-ORTIN, Ignacio & WEBER, Shlomo, 2004. "Why do people learn foreign languages ?," CORE Discussion Papers 2004079, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    8. GINSBURGH, Victor & NOURY, Abdul, 2005. "Cultural voting : The Eurovision Song Contest," CORE Discussion Papers 2005006, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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    Cited by:

    1. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Toubal, Farid, 2010. "Cultural proximity and trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 279-293, February.
    2. Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2011. "The quality factor in patent systems," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(6), pages 1755-1793, December.
    3. Isphording, Ingo, 2013. "Returns to Local and Foreign Language Skills – Causal Evidence from Spain," Ruhr Economic Papers 398, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    4. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00641280 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Chr. Hjorth-Andersen, 2006. "The Relative Importance of the European Languages," Discussion Papers 06-23, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    6. Ingo Isphording, 2013. "Returns to Local and Foreign Language Skills – Causal Evidence from Spain," Ruhr Economic Papers 0398, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Ho Fai Chan & Bruno S. Frey & Jana Gallus & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Does the John Bates Clark Medal boost subsequent productivity and citation success?," ECON - Working Papers 111, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    8. repec:kap:jculte:v:41:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10824-017-9300-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ingo E. Isphording, 2013. "Returns to Foreign Language Skills of Immigrants in Spain," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 27(4), pages 443-461, December.
    10. repec:zbw:rwirep:0398 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Malwina Mejer & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "The London Agreement and the Cost of Patenting in Europe," Working Papers ECARES 2008_032, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    12. Chan, Ho Fai & Frey, Bruno S. & Gallus, Jana & Torgler, Benno, 2014. "Academic honors and performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 188-204.
    13. Philipp Kolo, 2012. "Measuring a New Aspect of Ethnicity - The Appropriate Diversity Index," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 221, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.

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