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A Simultaneous-Equation Regression Model of Language Complexity Trade-Offs


  • Germán Coloma


In this paper we develop a statistical model of language complexity trade-offs using four typological measures (related to phonology, morphology, syntax and lexicon). The data come from the 100-language sample that appears in the World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS), and the trade-offs are calculated using different types of correlation coefficients. All those coefficients are statistically insignificant when they are computed using a standard (product-moment) methodology, but they become significant when we use simultaneous-equation regression methods, especially the ones based on seemingly unrelated regressions (SUR) and three-stage least squares (3SLS). These results are related to ideas suggested in the theoretical literature, especially in the one about language as a complex adaptive system.

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  • Germán Coloma, 2016. "A Simultaneous-Equation Regression Model of Language Complexity Trade-Offs," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 597, Universidad del CEMA.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:doctra:597

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    1. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew Weinzierl & Danny Yagan, 2009. "Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 147-174, Fall.
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    5. Feldstein, Martin, 2008. "Effects of Taxes on Economic Behavior," Scholarly Articles 2943922, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. Baumol, William J & Bradford, David F, 1970. "Optimal Departures from Marginal Cost Pricing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 265-283, June.
    7. Adrián C. Guisarri, 2005. "Negocios: Oportunidades Reales o Desequilibrios en Mercados?," Temas de Management, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 4-11, July.
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    complexity trade-off; WALS; correlation; simultaneous-equation regression; complex adaptive system;

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