A Textbook Example of International Price Discrimination

21 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2005 Last revised: 7 Aug 2008

See all articles by Christos Cabolis

Christos Cabolis

IMD; Yale SOM International Center for Finance

Sofronis Clerides

University of Cyprus; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Bologna - Rimini Center for Economic Analysis (RCEA)

Ioannis Ioannou

London Business School - Department of Strategic & International Management

Daniel Senft

Independent

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2005

Abstract

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.

Keywords: International price discrimination, book industry, textbooks

JEL Classification: L15, L83

Suggested Citation

Cabolis, Christos and Clerides, Sofronis and Ioannou, Ioannis and Senft, Daniel, A Textbook Example of International Price Discrimination (September 2005). Yale ICF Working Paper No. 05-26, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=807705

Christos Cabolis

IMD ( email )

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Sofronis Clerides (Contact Author)

University of Cyprus ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

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University of Bologna - Rimini Center for Economic Analysis (RCEA) ( email )

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Ioannis Ioannou

London Business School - Department of Strategic & International Management ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.ioannou.us

Daniel Senft

Independent ( email )

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