College Textbooks - Enhanced Offerings Appear to Drive Recent Price Increases
"In the last two decades, college textbook prices have increased at twice the rate of inflation but have followed close behind tuition increases. Increasing at an average of 6 percent per year, textbook prices nearly tripled from December 1986 to December 2004, while tuition and fees increased by 240 percent and overall inflation was 72 percent. The cost of textbooks as well as supplies as a percentage of tuition and fees varies for first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students by the type of institution attended—72 percent at 2-year public institutions, 26 percent at 4-year public institutions, and 8 percent for 4-year private institutions.
While many factors affect textbook pricing, the increasing costs associated with developing products designed to accompany textbooks, such as CDROMs and other instructional supplements, best explain price increases in recent years. Publishers say they have increased investments in developing supplements in response to demand from instructors. Wholesalers, retailers, and others expressed concern that the proliferation of supplements and more frequent revisions might unnecessarily increase costs to students.
U.S. college textbook prices may exceed prices in other countries because prices reflect market conditions found in each country, such as the willingness and ability of students to purchase the textbook. While geographical barriers have historically limited the reentry of textbooks intended for international distribution back into the United States, known as reimportation, recent advances in electronic commerce have broken down this barrier. In response to concerns that the international availability of less expensive textbooks might negatively affect textbook sales, publishers have taken steps to limit large-scale textbook reimportation."
More About This Topic...
Click thumbnails below to view links