Are The Ivy League Schools Engaging in Price-Fixing?

Jun 13, 2016 by

by David Ticzon –

Is there a case for price-fixing to be made here?

Dartblog reports.

Ivy Price-Fixing? A Circumstantial Case

Do the Ivies price-fix? Look how all of the Ancient Eight raised their prices for tuition, room and board, and fees this year. Not much of a difference one from ‘tuther, is there?

Six schools including the College raised their rates in a narrow band between 3.7% and 3.9%. Only Brown and Princeton broke 4%. According to the Labor department, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose less than 1% between 2015 and 2016.

Is there a case for price-fixing to be made here? The Ivy Presidents meet on a regular basis in private session. And while the cost for faculty and senior administrators is set by the national market for people with these skills, their cost is only about a sixth of an institution’s total budget. The wages of accountants, administrative assistants, dining hall workers, janitors, medical personnel, etc. vary a great deal from region to region, as does the cost of construction and utilities. Obviously it’s a lot more expensive to do business in Manhattan or Cambridge than in Hanover or Ithaca. So why the consistent cost increases? I’d say that a prima facie case has been made for price fixing based on circumstantial evidence, as the FTC allows:

Source: Ivy League | Price-Fixing | Tuition | Case | Fees

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