Learning Foreign Languages. Theoretical and Empirical Implications of the Selten and Pool Model

20 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2005

See all articles by Victor A. Ginsburgh

Victor A. Ginsburgh

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE); Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Ignacio Ortuño Ortín

University of Alicante - Department of Economic Analysis

Shlomo Weber

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Department of Economics; New Economic School

Date Written: March 2005

Abstract

In this paper, we adopt the Selten-Pool model (1993) framework of language acquisition that is based on the notion of communicative benefits and learning costs. We consider a model with languages that serve as imperfect substitutes and show that under supermodularity of the communicative benefits function and some other mild conditions, there exists a unique interior linguistic equilibrium. We then derive a demand function for foreign languages that we estimate for English, French, German and Spanish in 13 European countries.

Keywords: Languages, communicative benefits, learning costs, linguistic distances, estimation of demand functions for languages, European Union

JEL Classification: C72, O52, Z13

Suggested Citation

Ginsburgh, Victor A. and Ortuño Ortín, Ignacio and Weber, Shlomo, Learning Foreign Languages. Theoretical and Empirical Implications of the Selten and Pool Model (March 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=763687

Victor A. Ginsburgh (Contact Author)

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) ( email )

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Ignacio Ortuño Ortín

University of Alicante - Department of Economic Analysis ( email )

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Spain
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Shlomo Weber

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Department of Economics ( email )

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United States
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New Economic School ( email )

Moscow
Russia
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