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2 - Economists Do Need Linguists

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 March 2020

Cécile B. Vigouroux
Affiliation:
Simon Fraser University, British Columbia
Salikoko S. Mufwene
Affiliation:
University of Chicago
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Summary

We examine the notion of linguistic and other types of diversity that have become an important factor in evaluating economic, political, and societal progress. While most of the existing research on the measurement of diversity has been focused either on the number and size of different groups, this approach fails to take into account the degree of their distinctiveness. It is thus important to incorporate the notion of distances or dissimilarity between groups. We discuss various types of indices and their impact (positive or negative) on economic and political outcomes. We also use linguistic distances to explain economic behavior such as trade, migrations, translations, and acquiring new languages.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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