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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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Diversity and Disenfranchisement: Applications

Diversity and Disenfranchisement: Applications

(p.142) Chapter 7 Diversity and Disenfranchisement: Applications
How Many Languages Do We Need?

Victor Ginsburgh

Shlomo Weber

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses applications of the fractionalization, polarization, and disenfranchisement indices introduced in Chapter 6. Fractionalization and polarization indices are used in more and more econometric studies to check how diversity affects economic outcomes. A rather large number of studies show that diversity exerts negative effects, though this also depends on whether countries are more or less democratic. Negative effects are more likely in dictatorial regimes. Recent papers point to the fact that distance-based indices often have more explanatory power than size-based indices. Disenfranchisement indices are used to examine outcomes of linguistic standardization. These were applied to examine the consequences of restricting the number of languages in some uses in the European Union.

Keywords:   linguistic diversity, fractionalization indices, disenfranchisement indices, polarization indices

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