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Native language, spoken language, translation and trade

Author

Listed:
  • Jacques Melitz

    (HWU - Heriot-Watt University [Edinburgh], CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE Paris - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique)

  • Farid Toubal

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, ENS Cachan - École normale supérieure - Cachan)

Abstract

We construct new series for common native language and common spoken language for 195 countries, which we use together with series for common official language and linguistic proximity in order to draw inferences about (1) the aggregate impact of all linguistic factors on bilateral trade, (2) the separate role of ease of communication as distinct from ethnicity and trust, and (3) the contribution of translation and interpreters to ease of communication. The results show that the impact of linguistic factors, all together, is at least twice as great as the usual dummy variable for common language, resting on official language, would say. In addition, ease of communication plays a distinct role, apart from ethnicity and trust, and so far as ease of communication enters, translation and interpreters are significant. Finally, emigrants have much to do with the role of ethnicity and trust in linguistic influence.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacques Melitz & Farid Toubal, 2014. "Native language, spoken language, translation and trade," Post-Print hal-01306641, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01306641
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2014.04.004
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01306641
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Language; Bilateral trade; Gravity models;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General

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