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Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Culture, Languages, and Economics

Author(s): Victor Ginsburgh and Shlomo Weber

Publication Date: February 2013

Keyword(s): culture, economic impact, ethnolinguistic fractionalization, linguistic disenfranchisement, measurement of diversity and standardization policies

Programme Area(s): Public Economics

Abstract: The impact of various facets of cultural diversity on economic outcomes has become a topic of intensive research in economics. This paper focuses on linguistic diversity as one of the important aspects of cultural heterogeneity, and more specifically, The aim of this paper is to formally examine two opposing forces, standardization and efficiency on the one hand, and cultural attachment and linguistic disenfranchisement, on the other, and to outline ways of bringing them to balance each other. In our measurement of disenfranchisement and fractionalization we heavily rely on the notion of linguistic distances or proximity between various linguistic groups. We also analyze the impact of linguistic diversity on trade, migration and markets for translation. We conclude by examining the issue of disenfranchisement in the European Union and possible standardization policies to address this issue.

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Bibliographic Reference

Ginsburgh, V and Weber, S. 2013. 'Culture, Languages, and Economics'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research. https://cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9357