The Regulation of Language
35 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2018 Last revised: 23 Jun 2018
Date Written: June 1, 2018
Can language be centrally planned and controlled? Friedrich Hayek considered language the archetypal example of spontaneous order, yet many countries adopt a planned order approach to language, attempting to centrally plan and control it through language academies. I collect original data on the regulation of language across countries, and show that countries that adopt a planned order approach to language, also do so in their law, and similarly rely on a planned order approach in their economy. Countries that adopt a spontaneous order approach to language, also do so in their law, and similarly rely on a spontaneous order approach in their economy. This is consistent with the idea that these approaches are driven by an underlying cultural attitude towards the two types of order.
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