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Title:The optimal babel: An economic framework for the analysis of dynamic language rights PDF Logo
Authors:Wickström, Bengt-Arne
Issue Date:2010
Series/Report no.:CESifo working paper 2956
Abstract:We analyze various normatively determined distributions of language rights in multilingual settings. A general model for the analysis of language rights over time in a model with overlapping generations is set up. This model is then first used to find efficient allocations of rights in the tradition of Wicksell. It is shown that, when rights today influence the status of a language in the future, the naïve static analysis has to be augmented in favor of further-reaching minority rights in order to take into account the dynamic aspect. It is then demonstrated that a traditional welfare-economic analysis generally goes even further in the support of minority rights. If a possible externality on other communities is taken into account, however, these results are reversed in a pure efficiency analysis. If redistribution arguments are taken into account, this provides an effect in the opposite direction again.
Subjects:equivalence principle
minority rights
changeable preferences
dynamic preferences
welfare economics
overlapping generations
JEL:D61
D62
D63
D69
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:CESifo Working Papers, CESifo Group Munich

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