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Linguistic Diversity and Its Impact on Economic Policies and Political Decisions


  • Weber, S.

    (SMU, Dallas, USA)

  • Gabszewicz, J.

    (CORE, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • Ginsburgh, V.

    (ECARES, Brussels, Belgium)

  • Savvateev, A.

    (CEMI, NES, Moscow, Russia)

  • Filatov, A.

    (ISEM, ISU, Irkutsk, Russia)


The paper addresses the issue of linguistic diversity and its impact on economic policy and political decisions. Importance of the topic is illustrated by examination of optimal sets of official languages in the European Union. It is shown that alternative estimation methods of language disenfranchisement alter the order in which the languages enter the list of the official ones. Also, we present an overview of gametheoretic models of language acquisition, where individuals weigh costs and benefits of studying new languages. These models are used to predict actual distribution of language skills in a society and to compare it with the first-best outcome. The paper ends with estimation of our predictions on the basis of empirical analysis of European data.

Suggested Citation

  • Weber, S. & Gabszewicz, J. & Ginsburgh, V. & Savvateev, A. & Filatov, A., 2009. "Linguistic Diversity and Its Impact on Economic Policies and Political Decisions," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 3-4, pages 28-53.
  • Handle: RePEc:nea:journl:y:2009:i:3-4:p:28-53

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. O. Dmitrieva & N. Petukhova & D. Ushakov., 2010. "The Transition from Distributive Pension System to Accumulative Type: The Results and Efficiency Forecast," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    2. E. Gurvich., 2007. "Prospects for the Russia’s Pension System," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 9.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bagrat Yerznkyan, 2012. "Institutional Economics At The Crossroads: A View From Russia," Montenegrin Journal of Economics, Economic Laboratory for Transition Research (ELIT), vol. 8(1), pages 27-45.

    More about this item


    Game theory; linguistic models; communication benefits; costs of studying; official languages of the European Union; Nash equilibrium; public efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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