Native language, spoken language, translation and trade

Jacques Melitz, Farid Toubal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    154 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We construct new series for common native language and common spoken language for 195 countries, which we use together with series for common official language and linguistic proximity in order to draw inferences about (1) the aggregate impact of all linguistic factors on bilateral trade, (2) the separate role of ease of communication as distinct from ethnicity and trust, and (3) the contribution of translation and interpreters to ease of communication. The results show that the impact of linguistic factors, all together, is at least twice as great as the usual dummy variable for common language, resting on official language, would say. In addition, ease of communication plays a distinct role, apart from ethnicity and trust, and so far as ease of communication enters, translation and interpreters are significant. Finally, emigrants have much to do with the role of ethnicity and trust in linguistic influence. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)351-363
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of International Economics
    Volume93
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

    Keywords

    • Language
    • Bilateral trade
    • Gravity models
    • INTERNATIONAL-TRADE
    • EARNINGS
    • IMMIGRATION
    • PROFICIENCY
    • DIVERSITY
    • NETWORKS
    • GRAVITY
    • FIRMS

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