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Article Title

The Regulation of Language

Start Page

397

Abstract

Can language be centrally planned and controlled? Friedrich Hayek considered language the archetypal example of spontaneous order, yet many countries adopt a planned-order approach to language, attempting to centrally plan and control it through language academies. I collect original data on the regulation of language across countries and show that countries that adopt a planned-order approach to language also do so in their law and similarly rely on a planned-order approach in their economy. Countries that adopt a spontaneous-order approach to language also do so in their law and similarly rely on a spontaneous-order approach in their economy. This is consistent with the idea that these approaches are driven by an underlying cultural attitude toward the two types of order.

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