The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Victor Ginsburgh
  • Shlomo Weber
Reference work entry


Multilingualism or linguistic diversity in a heterogeneous society provides extraordinary challenges and room for policies which may have important economic implications in shaping the flows of interregional or international trade, investment and migrations. Given the often uncompromising nature of linguistic conflicts, linguistic policies and, especially, the choice of official languages should take into account the preferences of those groups of individuals whose cultural, societal, historical values and sensibilities could be affected. In evaluating linguistic policies an important role is played by the dynamic nature of language environments driven by individual choices of learning other languages.


Communicative benefits Linguistic disenfranchisement Linguistic standardization Multilingualism Official languages 

JEL Classifications

D63 D70 O52 Z13 
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We should like to thank Yuval Weber for his help in preparing this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor Ginsburgh
    • 1
  • Shlomo Weber
    • 1
  1. 1.