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Is It Possible to Speak English Without Thinking American? On Globalization and the Determinants of Cultural Assimilation

  • Alberto Chong

    ()

Based on research in linguistics and psychology I use language speech as a reflection of acculturation. I use individual and city-level data from the Lake Ontario area in Canada and study the determinants of cultural assimilation. I focus on education, age, income, and in particular, on some variables typically discussed when globalization issues come up, such as immigration, television viewing, borders, and residence history of the individuals. I find that actual contact does matter as a determinant of cultural homogenization. Virtual contact appears to be irrelevant. This finding is robust to changes in specification and to different empirical methods.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4454.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4454
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  1. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "I just ran four million regressions," Economics Working Papers 201, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S95-S126, December.
  3. Carolyn L. Evans, 2003. "The Economic Significance of National Border Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1291-1312, September.
  4. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
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