DP11529 Ranking Languages in the European Union:Before and after Brexit

Author(s): Victor Ginsburgh, Juan D. Moreno-Ternero, Shlomo Weber
Publication Date: September 2016
Keyword(s): Communicative benefits, European Union, linguistic disenfranchisement, official languages, Ranking methods
JEL(s): C71, D71, Z18
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=11529

This article presents a framework for evaluation of the impact of languages in multilingual societies. We consider several ranking methods grounded on various principles, including minimal disenfranchisement, communicative benefits, utilitarianism, and the game-theoretical concept of the Shapley Value. We use data from the Special Barometer survey to apply these methods to languages within the European Union. Although the methods we consider are driven by distinct normative grounds, they generate quite similar results. Finally, we analyse the impact of Brexit on the rankings, especially if English forfeits its status as an ocial language in the Union.