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The measurement of the value of a language

Jorge Alcalde-Unzu (), Juan Moreno-Ternero () and Shlomo Weber ()
Additional contact information
Jorge Alcalde-Unzu: Universidad Pública de Navarra
Shlomo Weber: New Economic School

No 22.07, Working Papers from Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics

Abstract: We address the problem of assessing the value of a language. We consider a stylized model of multilingual societies in which we introduce axioms formalizing the principles of impartiality, monotonicity, invariance and consistency. We show that the combination of these axioms characterizes a family of communicative benefit functions which assign a value to each language in the society. The functions within the family involve a two-step procedure. First, they identify the groups of agents that can communicate in each language. Second, each group is assigned an aggregate (size-dependent) value, which is evenly divided among the languages in which the group can communicate. Our novel approach could be useful in a wide range of empirical applications and policy decisions.

Keywords: Value of a language; Communicative benefits; Measure; Axioms; Characterization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 D62 D63 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 pages
Date: 2022
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Journal Article: The measurement of the value of a language (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: The measurement of the value of a language (2021) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pab:wpaper:22.07

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