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Naturaleza económica de la lengua


  • José Antonio Alonso

    (Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Departamento de Economía Aplicada II (Estructura Económica y Economía Industrial))


Being part of a linguistic community has economic effects since it affects transaction costs of economic operations, it defines identity social cohesion components of a community, and it supports a series of activities (cultural industries) that generate income and employment. However, the language has a series of specific characteristics of economic resource or asset, that make it different the ones in which the market can operate with efficiency. These characteristics make the language a club public good: with accessing costs but lack of rivalry in its use. In the present work we discuss the characteristics that give the language its singularity as economic resource. More specifically, we explore its nature as club public good, by studying costs and benefits associated to the membership of a particular linguistic club. Finally, we analyze, in a more precise way, factors that might condition efficient behaviours of an agent in deciding its access to a particular linguistic club; and we discuss the components which determine a linguistic community optimum size.

Suggested Citation

  • José Antonio Alonso, 2006. "Naturaleza económica de la lengua," Documentos de Trabajo del Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales 02-06, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucm:dticei:02-06

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