IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/4003.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Unilingual versus Bilingual Education System: A Political Economy Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Ortega, Javier
  • Tangeraas, Thomas

Abstract

We define an economy composed of two language groups. Value is created through bilateral trade between individuals who can speak the same language. The value of trade increases in each participant's level of education. We compare a bilingual education system, under which the individuals who take education become bilingual, with a unilingual system, under which the individuals attending school end up speaking the language of the politically dominating group only. Bilingualism is socially optimal when education levels are centralized. In the decentralized equilibrium, individuals (i) vote over education systems anticipating the future levels of education (ii) independently and simultaneously choose whether or not to take education. We show that in the unilingual system the returns to education for each member of the dominated group positively depend on the number of members of the same group attending school (a ‘bandwagon’ effect). Instead, under bilingualism, decisions to take education are negatively correlated across groups (a ‘duplication’ effect). For this reason, the equilibrium education levels may be higher under unilingualism, and there may be unanimity for unilingualism. We find that language conflict, whenever it arises, consists in a situation in which uniligualism is supported by the dominant group, while bilingualism is defended by the dominated group. We characterize also the conditions under which unanimity for bilingualism arises. The predictions of the model are shown to be compatible with the almost unanimous choice of a bilingual Finnish-Swedish education system in Finland (1919-22) and the choice of a unilingual French-language system in France (1789-94).

Suggested Citation

  • Ortega, Javier & Tangeraas, Thomas, 2003. "Unilingual versus Bilingual Education System: A Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 4003, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=4003
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kevin Lang, 1986. "A Language Theory of Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 363-382.
    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. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1995. "The Endogeneity between Language and Earnings: International Analyses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 246-288, April.
    4. Jeffrey Church & Ian King, 1993. "Bilingualism and Network Externalities," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 337-345, May.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:88:y:1994:i:03:p:622-634_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-894, October.
    7. Ortega, Javier & Tangeraas, Thomas, 2003. "Unilingual versus Bilingual Education System: A Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 4003, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 95-126, December.
    9. Farrell, Joseph & Klemperer, Paul, 2007. "Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
    10. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Caminal, Ramon, 2010. "Markets and linguistic diversity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 774-790, December.
    2. Ortega, Javier & Tangeraas, Thomas, 2003. "Unilingual versus Bilingual Education System: A Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 4003, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Efraín Rodríguez Lozano, 2011. "¿Barreras Lingüísticas en la Educación?: La Influencia de la Lengua Materna en la Deserción Escolar," Documentos de Trabajo / Working Papers 2011-324, Departamento de Economía - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; language policies; minorities; skills;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4003. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.