Same Same But Different: Dialects and Trade

21 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2013

See all articles by Alfred Lameli

Alfred Lameli

University of Marburg

Volker Nitsch

Darmstadt University of Technology - Department of Law and Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Jens Suedekum

University of Duisburg-Essen

Nikolaus Wolf

Humboldt University Berlin - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 31, 2013

Abstract

Language is a strong and robust determinant of international trade patterns: Countries sharing a common language trade significantly more with each other than countries using different languages, holding other factors constant. In this paper, we show that this trade-promoting effect of language is likely to reflect cultural ties, rather than lower costs of communication or similar institutions. Analyzing unique data for a single-language country, Germany, we find that similarities in the local dialect between regions have a sizable and significant positive impact on intra-national trade. We interpret this finding as evidence for the effect of culture on trade.

Keywords: language, culture, trade costs, gravity

JEL Classification: F140, F150, Z100

Suggested Citation

Lameli, Alfred and Nitsch, Volker and Suedekum, Jens and Wolf, Nikolaus, Same Same But Different: Dialects and Trade (May 31, 2013). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4245. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2274608

Alfred Lameli

University of Marburg ( email )

Volker Nitsch (Contact Author)

Darmstadt University of Technology - Department of Law and Economics ( email )

Marktplatz 15
Residenzschloss
Darmstadt, 64283
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Jens Suedekum

University of Duisburg-Essen

Lotharstrasse 1
Duisburg, 47048
Germany

Nikolaus Wolf

Humboldt University Berlin - Department of Economics ( email )

Spandauer Strasse 1
Berlin
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/professuren/vwl/wg/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+4420-7852-3512 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
48
Abstract Views
404
PlumX Metrics