The following chart is getting forwarded in Twitter:
Between 1986 and 2006 journal prices have increased by 321%, while inflation has increased 68%.
The trend does not make sense at all, because with electronic technology and ease of communication, the cost of publishing should go down, not up.
However, does the above figure make sense, when we present two companion charts from “What’s Up with Inflation?”
The same factors - electronic technology and ease of communication - should lower the prices of education and medical care, no?
We know what is pushing the cost of education. It is the federally backed student loan. Matt Taibbi wrote a very nice article on that topic that just came out - “Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal”. We also know the source of high rate of inflation in medical care. Just remove ‘cal’ from the last two words, and you identify the 1,000 pound gorilla there. Then is it possible that journal prices are going up at high rate, because government funds pay for publication cost? If we say that the journals are ‘price-gouging’, why exclude the University cartel and the medical cartel?
….something to think about.
Our earlier thoughts on similar topic are here -
On role of government in pushing student debt to support universities, readers may enjoy Matt’s interview -