New Thinking in Political Economy series
Edited by Francisco Cabrillo and Miguel A. Puchades-Navarro
Chapter 18: The optimal Babel: an economic framework for the analysis of dynamic language rights
Language is certainly the most important means of communication in all human societies. At the same time, language is one of the most important aspects of an individual’s personality, as well as of its social and cultural identity. These two aspects of language often find themselves in conflict with one another. On the one hand, network externality properties of the communication aspect imply that the greater is the number of speakers of a certain language, the more useful is that language in communication; taking this to the extreme, it would be efficient to have only one single language for communication purposes. Balancing this tendency is the desire of many individuals to preserve their language as a marker of identity. In a static perspective, language, like talents and other personal characteristics, can be seen as part of the definition, or initial endowment, of the individual.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.