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Markets and Linguistic Diversity

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  • Ramon Caminal

    () (Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica - Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica)

Abstract

Producers of cultural goods and media products can make their speci.c contents available to their audiences and readerships only through a particular language. The choice of language is a non-trivial decision in markets with bilingual or multilingual consumers. In this paper I argue that, the very existence of bilingual consumers may seriously bias market outcomes against minority languages. In particular, I show that the level of linguistic diversity determined by pro.t maximizing .rms tends to be ine¢ ciently low, except when and where the cost of producing a second linguistic version becomes su¢ ciently low. Thus, the model provides an e¢ ciency argument supporting policies that protect the presence of minority languages in these markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Ramon Caminal, 2010. "Markets and Linguistic Diversity," Post-Print hal-00911834, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00911834
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2010.09.009
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00911834
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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. Ginsburgh, Victor & Weber, Shlomo & Weyers, Sheila, 2007. "Economics of Literary Translation: A Simple Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6432, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Ramon Caminal & Lluís M. Granero, 2012. "Multi‐product Firms and Product Variety," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(314), pages 303-328, 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. N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 48-58, Spring.
    6. Melitz, Jacques, 2008. "Language and foreign trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 667-699, May.
    7. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 95-126, December.
    8. Ortega, Javier & Tangeraas, Thomas, 2003. "Unilingual versus Bilingual Education System: A Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 4003, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Yongmin Chen & Michael H. Riordan, 2007. "Price and Variety in the Spokes Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 897-921, July.
    10. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    11. Peitz, Martin & Valletti, Tommaso M., 2008. "Content and advertising in the media: Pay-tv versus free-to-air," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 949-965, July.
    12. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Emilie Dargaud & Carlo Reggiani, 2015. "On The Price Effects Of Horizontal Mergers: A Theoretical Interpretation," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 236-255, July.
    2. Ramon Caminal & Antonio Di Paolo, 2015. "Your Language or Mine?," Working Papers 852, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    3. Yongmin Chen & Marius Schwartz, 2016. "Churn Versus Diversion in Antitrust: An Illustrative Model," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(332), pages 564-583, October.
    4. Carlo Reggiani, 2014. "Spatial Price Discrimination in the Spokes Model," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 628-649, September.
    5. Yongmin Chen & Xinyu Hua, 2017. "Competition, Product Safety, and Product Liability," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(2), pages 237-267.
    6. Ramon Caminal, 2013. "The economic value of reciprocal bilingualism," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 933.13, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    7. Yongmin Chen & Marius Schwartz, 2015. "Churn vs. Diversion: An Illustrative Model," Working Papers gueconwpa~15-15-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    8. Carlo Reggiani, "undated". "Optimal Differentiation and Spatial Competition: The Spokes Model with Product Delivery," Discussion Papers 09/13, Department of Economics, University of York.
    9. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:57:y:2019:i:1:p:726-750 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Barañano Mentxaka, Ilaski & Kovarik, Jaromir & Uriarte Ayo, José Ramón, 2014. "Experimental Economics Meets Language Choice," IKERLANAK Ikerlanak;2014-82, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    D43; L13; L82; Product variety; language; translation;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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