Discussion paper

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

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.


Weber, S, V Ginsburgh and J Moreno-Tenero (2016), ‘DP11529 Ranking Languages in the European Union:Before and after Brexit‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 11529. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp11529