Language, Internet and Platform Competition: The Case of Search Engine

38 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2012

See all articles by Doh-Shin Jeon

Doh-Shin Jeon

Toulouse School of Economics (TSE); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Bruno Jullien

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Mikhail M. Klimenko

Georgia Institute of Technology - School of Economics

Date Written: September 2012

Abstract

The World Wide Web was originally a totally English-based medium due to its US origin. Although the presence of other languages has steadily risen, content in English is still dominant, which raises a natural question of how bilingualism of consumers of a home country affects production of web content in the home language and domestic welfare? In this paper, we address this question by studying how bilingualism affects competition between a foreign search engine and a domestic one within a small country and thereby production of home language content. We find that bilingualism unambiguously softens platform competition, which in turn can induce a reduction in home language content and in home country's welfare. In particular, it is possible that content in the foreign language crowds out so much content in the home language that consumers enjoy less content when they are bilingual than when they are monolingual.

Keywords: bilingualism, international trade, language, platform, search engine, two-sided market

JEL Classification: D21, D43, F12, F61, L13, L86

Suggested Citation

Jeon, Doh-Shin and Jullien, Bruno and Klimenko, Mikhail M., Language, Internet and Platform Competition: The Case of Search Engine (September 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2153585

Doh-Shin Jeon (Contact Author)

Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Bruno Jullien

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Mikhail M. Klimenko

Georgia Institute of Technology - School of Economics ( email )

781 Marietta Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.gatech.edu/docs/klimenko_vita0904.pdf

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