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Learning Foreign Languages.Theoretical and Empirical Implications of the Selten and Pool Model

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  • Ginsburgh, Victor
  • Ortuño-Ortín, Ignacio
  • Weber, Shlomo

Abstract

In this paper we adopt the Selten-Pool model (1993) framework of language acquisition that is based on the notion of communicative benefits and learning costs. We consider a model with languages that serve as imperfect substitutes and show that under supermodularity of the communicative benefits function and some other mild conditions, there exists a unique interior linguistic equilibrium. We then derive a demand function for foreign languages that we estimate for English, French, German and Spanish in 13 European countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Ginsburgh, Victor & Ortuño-Ortín, Ignacio & Weber, Shlomo, 2005. "Learning Foreign Languages.Theoretical and Empirical Implications of the Selten and Pool Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 4942, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4942
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Victor Ginsburgh & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2005. "Disenfranchisement In Linguistically Diverse Societies: The Case Of The European Union," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 946-965, June.
    2. McManus, Walter & Gould, William & Welch, Finis, 1983. "Earnings of Hispanic Men: The Role of English Language Proficiency," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 101-130, April.
    3. Kevin Lang, 1986. "A Language Theory of Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 363-382.
    4. 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.
    5. Jeffrey Church & Ian King, 1993. "Bilingualism and Network Externalities," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 337-345, May.
    6. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 95-126, December.
    7. Barry R. Chiswick, 1998. "Hebrew language usage: Determinants and effects on earnings among immigrants in Israel," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(2), pages 253-271.
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    Cited by:

    1. Antonio Di Paolo & Aysit Tansel, 2015. "Returns to Foreign Language Skills in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(4), pages 407-421, April.
    2. Efthymios Athanasiou & Santanu Dey & Giacomo Valletta, 2016. "Groves mechanisms and communication externalities," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 20(1), pages 1-37, March.
    3. Oh, Chang Hoon & Travis Selmier, W. & Lien, Donald, 2011. "International trade, foreign direct investment, and transaction costs in languages," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 732-735.
    4. repec:bla:reviec:v:25:y:2017:i:2:p:320-361 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2007. "La connaissance des langues en Belgique," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 31-43.
    6. Jan Fidrmuc, 2012. "The Economics of Multilingualism in the EU," Chapters,in: Research Handbook on the Economics of European Union Law, chapter 15 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Sperlich, Stefan & Uriarte Ayo, José Ramón, 2014. "The Economics of "Why is it so hard to save a threatened Language?"," IKERLANAK Ikerlanak;2014-77, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    8. Melitz, Jacques, 2014. "English as a global language," CEPR Discussion Papers 10102, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Uriarte Ayo, José Ramón, 2015. "A Game-Theoreteic Analysis of Minority Language Use in Multilingual Societies," IKERLANAK Ikerlanak;2015-93, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    10. Armstrong, Alex, 2015. "Equilibria and efficiency in bilingual labour markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 204-220.
    11. Melitz, Jacques, 2012. "A framework for analyzing language and welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 9091, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Ku, Hyejin & Zussman, Asaf, 2010. "Lingua franca: The role of English in international trade," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 250-260, August.
    13. Paulo A.L.D. Nunes & Laura Onofri & Jasone Cenoz & Durk Gorter, 2008. "Language Diversity in Urban Landscapes: An econometric study," Working Papers 2008.40, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    14. Lien, Donald & Oh, Chang Hoon & Selmier, W. Travis, 2012. "Confucius institute effects on China's trade and FDI: Isn't it delightful when folks afar study Hanyu?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 147-155.
    15. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, "undated". "Multiligualism," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/174045, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    16. Lien, Donald & Oh, Chang Hoon, 2014. "Determinants of the Confucius Institute establishment," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 437-441.
    17. Athanasiou Efthymios & Dey Santanu & Valletta Giacomo, 2012. "On Sharing the Benefits of Communication," Research Memorandum 016, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    18. Efthymios Athanasiou & Juan D. Moreno-Ternero & Shlomo Weber, 2015. "Language learning and communicative benefits," Working Papers 15.09, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    19. Selmier, W. Travis & Oh, Chang Hoon, 2012. "International business complexity and the internationalization of languages," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 189-200.
    20. Jean Jaskold Gabszewicz & Victor Ginsburgh & Didier Laussel & Shlomo Weber, 2010. "Acquiring foreign languages: a two-sided market approach," Working Papers ECARES 2010_007, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    21. Laura Onofri & Paulo A.L.D. Nunes & Jasone Cenoz & Durk Gorter, 2013. "Linguistic Diversity and Preferences: Econometric Evidence from European Cities," Journal of Economics and Econometrics, Economics and Econometrics Society, vol. 56(1), pages 39-60.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    communicative benefits; estimation of demand functions for languages; European Union; languages; learning costs; linguistic distances;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • 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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