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A textbook example of international price discrimination

  • Cabolis, Christos
  • Clerides, Sofronis
  • Ioannou, Ioannis
  • Senft, Daniel

We investigate differences in book prices between the United States and other countries. We find that general audience books are similarly priced internationally, but textbooks are substantially more expensive in the United States (often more than double the price). This disparity is much more pronounced for commercial publishers than for university presses. We argue that supply-side factors like cost and market structure can not explain this phenomenon. We discuss several demand-side explanations; our preferred theory is that higher US textbook prices reflect the unique status of the textbook as a centerpiece of US college instruction.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 95 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 91-95

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:95:y:2007:i:1:p:91-95
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

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  18. Siegfried, John J. & Latta, Christopher, 1998. "Competition in the Retail College Textbook Market," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 105-115, February.
  19. Christos Cabolis & Sofronis Clerides & Ioannis Ioannou & Daniel Senft, 2005. "A Textbook Example of International Price Discrimination," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2640, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Aug 2008.
  20. Danzon, Patricia M. & Chao, Li-Wei, 2000. "Cross-national price differences for pharmaceuticals: how large, and why?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 159-195, March.
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