Everyday Economics: Inequalities In Language And How To Counteract Them

Language is not just a means of communication, but also the expression of an entire nation’s identity. There will always be a trade-off between valuing and preserving a people’s native language, and the return of an investment in human capital that learning a dominant or common language provides.

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Everyday Economics: The Economics of Language

It might seem a little depressing to reduce something with so many individualities to a matter of costs and benefits, but in doing so we can perhaps explain why one language may be more likely to outlive another. If we say that the creator of a language (or the founder of a society’s particular communication system) is the fundamental policy-maker, what makes this particular policy successful in the long-term?