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Languages, Genes, and Cultures

  • Victor Ginsburgh

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

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10824-005-4074-7
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Cultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-17

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:29:y:2005:i:1:p:1-17
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100284

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  1. Ginsburgh, Victor & Ortuño-Ortín, Ignacio & Weber, Shlomo, 2005. "Disenfranchisement in Linguistically Diverse Societies: The Case of the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 4875, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2005. "Language disenfranchisement in the European Union," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5263, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. GINSBURGH, Victor & VAN OURS, Jan C., . "Expert opinion and compensation: evidence from a musical competition," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1617, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. 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).
  5. FLÔRES, R. G. & GINSBURGH, Jr. and V. A., . "The Queen Elisabeth musical competition: how fair is the final ranking?," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1196, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. 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).
  7. Haan, Marco & Dijkstra, Gerhard & Dijkstra, Peter, 2003. "Expert judgment versus public opinion : evidence from the Eurovision Song Contest," CCSO Working Papers 200305, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
  8. 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.
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