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Languages Disenfranchisement in the European Union

Author

Listed:
  • Shlomo Weber

    (Southern Methodist University, Dallas and Center of Operation Research and Econometrics, Louvain)

  • Victor Ginsburgh

    (ECARES, University Libre de Bruxelles and Centre of Operation Research and Econometrics, Louvain)

Abstract

We introduce the notion of language disenfranchisement which arises if the number of EU working languages is reduced. We use the data on language proficiency in EU and show that, in spite of the widespread knowledge of English, the retention of French and German as working languages in essential to avoid a too large degree of disenfranchisement of citizens. The picture, however, becomes somewhat different if we consider the population under age of 40. We also argue that even though French is the second leading language within the EU, the situation is likely to be reversed after the enlargement.

Suggested Citation

  • Shlomo Weber & Victor Ginsburgh, 2004. "Languages Disenfranchisement in the European Union," Working Papers 2004.4, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2004.4
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    Keywords

    Languages; Disenfranchisement; European Union;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • 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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