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Why are economics textbooks so expensive?

Geoff Riley

29th November 2018

A short video exploring some of the reasons for rapid inflation in the price of college textbooks in the United States - but an issue with wider appeal to students here! The textbook industry is an oligopoly - almost 80% of the textbook industry is dominated by 5 publishing companies including Pearson.

Has the rise of self-publishing by independent e-learning businesses (including Tutor2u) led to any noticeable change in pricing behaviour? How large is the market in second-hand textbooks? More generally, how many schools are eschewing textbooks completely in favour of more manageable consumables that students can complete themselves with guided learning?

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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