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How Many Languages Do We Need?The Economics of Linguistic Diversity$
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Victor Ginsburgh and Shiomo Weber

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691136899

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691136899.001.0001

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Individual Communicative Benefits

Individual Communicative Benefits

Chapter:
(p.84) Chapter 5 Individual Communicative Benefits
Source:
How Many Languages Do We Need?
Author(s):

Victor Ginsburgh

Shlomo Weber

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691136899.003.0006

This chapter begins with a discussion of the incentives to learn foreign languages, ranging from an expected increase in earnings, to the pleasure it can provide through immersion in a different culture, and having the ability to speak, read, or at least understand the language. Section 1 covers the theoretical models of learning a foreign language. Section 2 gives an example of estimating the resulting demand equations for foreign languages. Section 3 is devoted to the private monetary benefits resulting from the use of the native language of a country to which one migrates to, or the use of foreign languages for those citizens who know the language of their native country. Most econometric results point to relatively large returns on knowing non-native languages in firms that employ these workers.

Keywords:   linguistic diversity, language learning, language proficiency, foreign language

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