DP4942 Learning Foreign Languages.Theoretical and Empirical Implications of the Selten and Pool Model
|Author(s):||Victor Ginsburgh, Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín, Shlomo Weber|
|Publication Date:||March 2005|
|Keyword(s):||communicative benefits, estimation of demand functions for languages, European Union, languages, learning costs, linguistic distances|
|JEL(s):||C72, O52, Z13|
|Programme Areas:||Public Economics|
|Link to this Page:||cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=4942|
In this paper we adopt the Selten-Pool model (1993) framework of language acquisition that is based on the notion of communicative benefits and learning costs. We consider a model with languages that serve as imperfect substitutes and show that under supermodularity of the communicative benefits function and some other mild conditions, there exists a unique interior linguistic equilibrium. We then derive a demand function for foreign languages that we estimate for English, French, German and Spanish in 13 European countries.