Development Economics Seminar: James Fenske (University of Warwick)
|Starts:||13:00 22 Nov 2016|
|Ends:||14:00 22 Nov 2016|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Social Sciences|
Title: Linguistic Distance and Market Integration in India.
Abstract: We study the role of linguistic barriers in explaining local market integration. We collect data on grain and salt prices, as well as language, for more than 200 South Asian markets in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Conditional on a rich set of controls and fixed effects, we find that linguistically distant markets are less integrated (exhibit lower price correlations). We demonstrate robustness to selection on unobservables, alternative measures of linguistic distance, and restrictions of the sample (among other results). While linguistically distant markets exhibit greater genetic distance, greater differences in literacy gaps, and fewer railway connections, these factors are not sufficient statistics for the negative correlation between linguistic distance and market integration. Markets that are less linguistically connected to their neighbours have more volatile prices, indicating negative consequences of the wedge caused by linguistic distance.
Organisation: University of Warwick
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