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Journal of Economic Literature - Book Review

JEL Volume. 49, Issue 4 | leftPrevious Review Next Review right

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Book(s) Reviewed

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

Published By: Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 978-0-691-13689-9
Date of Publication: 2011


Book Review Detail

Reviewed by: Jacques Melitz of Heriot-Watt University
Review DOI: 10.1257/jel.49.4.1230.r29
Review Pages: 1313-14

Book Review Abstract

Jacques Melitz of Heriot-Watt University reviews "How Many Languages Do We Need? The Economics of Linguistic Diversity" by Victor Ginsburgh and Shlomo Weber. The EconLit abstract of the reviewed work begins, "Explores issues in multilingualism, focusing on the trade-off between the quest for efficiency that a small number of languages is thought to foster and a reduction in the disenfranchisement of noncore language speakers that calls for more languages. Discusses language as a homeland; linguistic policies, disenfranchisement, and standardization; linguistic, genetic, and cultural distances—how far is Nostratic; whether distances matter; individual communicative benefits; diversity and disenfranchisement indices; diversity and disenfranchisement—applications; and multilingualism in the European Union—a case study in linguistic policy. Ginsburgh is Professor of Economics Emeritus, a member of the European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics, and a member of the Center of Operations Research and Econometrics, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. Weber is Robert H. and Nancy Dedman Trustee Professor of Economics at Southern Methodist University and Professor of Economics at the New Economic School, Moscow. Bibliography; index."


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Book Review Authors

Jacques Melitz of Heriot-Watt University


JEL Classifications

Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology


Journal of Economic Literature


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