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Culture, Languages, and Economics

  • Ginsburgh, Victor
  • Weber, Shlomo

The impact of various facets of cultural diversity on economic outcomes has become a topic of intensive research in economics. This paper focuses on linguistic diversity as one of the important aspects of cultural heterogeneity, and more specifically, The aim of this paper is to formally examine two opposing forces, standardization and efficiency on the one hand, and cultural attachment and linguistic disenfranchisement, on the other, and to outline ways of bringing them to balance each other. In our measurement of disenfranchisement and fractionalization we heavily rely on the notion of linguistic distances or proximity between various linguistic groups. We also analyze the impact of linguistic diversity on trade, migration and markets for translation. We conclude by examining the issue of disenfranchisement in the European Union and possible standardization policies to address this issue.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9357.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9357
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  1. Melitz, Jacques, 2002. "Language and Foreign Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 3590, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Lazear, Edward P, 1999. "Globalisation and the Market for Team-Mates," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C15-40, March.
  3. Falck, Oliver & Heblich, Stephan & Lameli, Alfred & Sudekum, Jens, 2011. "Dialects, Cultural Identity, and Economic Exchange," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2011-01, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  4. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2009. "Linguistic Diversity and Redistribution," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1291-1318, December.
  5. GINSBURGH, Victor & ORTUNO-ORTIN, Ignatio & WEBER, Shlomo, . "Disenfranchisement in linguistically diverse societies: the case of the European Union," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1773, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Alesina, Alberto F & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2008. "Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross-Section of Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 6943, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Fujita, M. & Weber, S., 2010. "Immigration Quotas in the Globalized Economy," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 7, pages 10-23.
  8. Fidrmuc, Jan & Ginsburgh, Victor & Weber, Shlomo, 2007. "Ever Closer Union or Babylonian Discord? The Official-language Problem in the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 6367, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
  11. Jan Fidrmuc & Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2009. "Voting on the choice of core languages in the European Union," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/99264, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Jan Fidrmuc & Victor Ginsburgh, 2007. "Languages in the European Union: the quest for equality and its cost," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5253, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. 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.
  14. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2005. "Language Disenfranchisement in the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 273-286, 06.
  15. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2011. "How Many Languages Do We Need? The Economics of Linguistic Diversity," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9481, 01-2013.
  16. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  17. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2011. "How many languages do we need? The economics of Linguistic Diversity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152424, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  18. anonymous, 2001. "Is there a world business cycle?," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Dec.
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  22. William K. Hutchinson, 2001. ""Linguistic Distance" as a Determinant of Bilateral Trade," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0130, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics, revised Oct 2003.
  23. Raquel Fernández, 2010. "Does Culture Matter?," NBER Working Papers 16277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Fearon, James D, 2003. "Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
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