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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
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9357
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods And Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284, November.
  2. Oliver Falck & Stephan Heblich & Alfred Lameli & Jens Suedekum, 2010. "Dialects, Cultural Identity, and Economic Exchange," CESifo Working Paper Series 2961, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Shlomo Weber & Victor Ginsburgh, 2004. "Languages Disenfranchisement in the European Union," Working Papers 2004.4, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Jan Fidrmuc & Victor Ginsburgh, 2006. "Languages in the European Union: The Quest for Equality and its Cost," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 06-15, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  5. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  6. Melitz, Jacques, 2002. "Language and Foreign Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 3590, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2008. "Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross-Section of Countries," Working Papers w0120, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  8. Fidrmuc, Jan & Ginsburgh, Victor & Weber, Shlomo, 2009. "Voting on the choice of core languages in the European Union," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 56-62, March.
  9. 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.
  10. Edward P. Lazear, 1998. "Globalization and the Market for Teammates," NBER Working Papers 6579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
  13. Raquel Fernández, 2010. "Does Culture Matter?," NBER Working Papers 16277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Melitz, Jacques, 2007. "The impact of English dominance on literature and welfare," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 193-215, October.
  15. 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.
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