The determinants of library prices of biology journals : an econometric analysis


Graduation date: 2003Increases in the prices of scholarly journals have exceeded the general rate of\ud inflation for the last decade and more. In the face of this "serials crisis," libraries have\ud found it increasingly difficult to maintain essential journal collections. This thesis\ud investigates the causes of the serials crisis in biology using data generated for a study\ud conducted by the Mann Library of Cornell University for 1988 and 1994 and updated\ud by the author for 2001.\ud The major goals of this thesis are to elaborate some alternative explanations of\ud the crisis, identify econometrically the chief determinants of biology journal prices,\ud and test the theory that prices are significantly determined by market structure.\ud Existing literature sheds some light on price determinants specifically, technical\ud characteristics (including frequency and size), publisher's legal form (profit vs. non-profit),\ud location (domestic or foreign) and scale (circulation) have been found to be\ud statistically significant--but this work is incomplete and sometimes contradictory.\ud OLS and GLS regression analysis conducted in this thesis confirms that the\ud determinants of biology journal prices are country of origin, journal size and\ud frequency, circulation, and publisher's legal form. There is no evidence, however, that\ud greater concentration increases prices. According to this analysis, monopoly power is\ud not a problem in biology journal publishing

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