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Disenfranchisement in linguistically diverse societies: the case of the European Union

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  • Victor Ginsburgh
  • Shlomo Weber
  • Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín

Abstract

We consider a linguistically diversified society and examine the notion of language disenfranchisement when some individuals are denied the full access to documents and political process in their native tongues. To calculate the disenfranchisement indices we use the Dyen percentage cognate matrix of linguistic distances between Indo-European languages and apply survey and population data on language proficiency in the European Union. We then determine optimal sets of official languages that depend on society's sensitivity against disenfranchisement and comprehensiveness of the chosen language regime. We also discuss the language situation in the European Union after its last enlargement. © 2005 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín, 2005. "Disenfranchisement in linguistically diverse societies: the case of the European Union," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1951, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/1951
    Note: SCOPUS: ar.j
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2005. "Language Disenfranchisement in the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 273-286, June.
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    More about this item

    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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