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The economic value of reciprocal bilingualism

  • Ramon Caminal

    ()

Some bilingual societies exhibit a distribution of language skills that can- not be explained by economic theories that portray languages as pure commu- nication devices. Such distribution of skills are typically the result of public policies that promote bilingualism among members of both speech commu- nities (reciprocal bilingualism). In this paper I argue that these policies are likely to increase social welfare by diminishing economic and social segmenta- tion between the two communities. However, these gains tend to be unequally distributed over the two communities. As a result, in a large range of circum- stances these policies might not draw su¢ cient support. The model is built upon the communicative value of languages, but also emphasizes the role of linguistic preferences in the behavior of bilingual individuals..

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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 933.13.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: 13 Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:933.13
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  1. Caminal, Ramon, 2009. "Markets and linguistic diversity," CEPR Discussion Papers 7587, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jeffrey Church & Ian King, 1993. "Bilingualism and Network Externalities," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 337-45, May.
  3. Krishna Patel & Francis Vella, 2013. "Immigrant Networks and Their Implications for Occupational Choice and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1249-1277, October.
  4. Uriarte Ayo, José Ramón & Iriberri, Nagore, 2011. "Minority Language and the Stability of Bilingual Equilibria," IKERLANAK 2011-45, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
  5. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2008. "Workplace Segregation in the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Skill," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 459-477, August.
  6. Sílvio Rendon, 2003. "The Catalan Premium: Language And Employment In Catalonia," Economics Working Papers we033410, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  7. S. J. Drinkwater & N. C. O'Leary, 1997. "Unemployment in Wales: Does Language Matter?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(6), pages 583-591.
  8. Antonio Di Paolo & Josep Lluís Raymond, 2010. "Language knowledge and earnings in Catalonia," Working Papers wpdea1001, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  9. Javier Ortega & Thomas P. Tangerås, 2008. "Unilingual Versus Bilingual Education: A Political Economy Analysis," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1078-1108, 09.
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