Economic efficiency of linguistic and cultural diversity
Goodman, Claire Jean
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When discussing the cultural impact of globalization, it is important to realize that economic phenomena play a role in shaping human behavior. The diversity of culture and language that we observe has been carved out by the choices that humans make. Analyzing the costs and benefits of these choices leads to an understanding of why people are abandoning their unique cultural clusters to participate in the global economy. Individuals leave their native cultures behind to learn English and to participate in the global economy to increase their economic well-being. The process of individual abandonment has external effects. Network and public good externalities may cause market failures. If market failures are present in culture and language, the efficiency of cultural abandonment is in doubt and there may be public policy changes that would enhance economic efficiency.