P.T. Barnum's List

"What are taxpayers for?" --Anonymous

 I am sure that  telemarketers and tv evangelists are willing to pay big  money for  lists  of  gullible people.  I am going to give you a similar  list  for  free, a list of libraries that apparently are either almost entirely  inattentive to cost or  have so much money that they don't know what to do with it.

Two obscure economics journals, the Journal of Economic Studies and the International Journal of Social Economics are each priced at more than $7500 for the 2001 volume. The third most expensive economics journal costs about $2400 per year.   In contrast, the six most-cited economics journals cost an average of $180 per year.   The world's two most expensive journals are NOT the wqrld's  two best journals. Not even close. In fact, most economists haven't heard of either one.  They are rarely cited in scholarly work  and are not even included among the journals  from which  Social Science Citation Index counts citations.

As you might expect, there are not many takers at these prices.  The remarkable thing is that there are some. The following universities are recorded by the OCLC union list of library catalogs as having current print subscriptions to the two most expensive economics  journals in the world.  (Harvard is not inventoried by OCLC, but current copies of these two journals are listed in the online Harvard library catalog.)  I have discovered that some libraries  listed by the OCLC  as having these  journal have already canceled their subscriptions but didn't get around to notifying the OCLC.  I have removed their names from this page.

Quite possibly, most  of the  libraries on this list are getting these journals as part of a bundle at a lower price than the price listed by the publisher.  As more details arrive, I will report them.

I would be delighted to hear an explanation from anyone at any of these universities of why they are spending money on these journals.

Libraries  subscribing to the paper version of Journal of Economic Studies ($7599 per year, $14 per page)

Case Western Reserve
Georgia State University
Harvard University
University of Michigan
Mississippi State University

US Treasury (Listed by OCLC as currently subscribing. I have not been able to verify this directly.)

Libraries subscribing to the paper version of International Journal of Social Economics ($8199 per year, $5 per page)

California State, Fresno (gift subscription from an editor of IJSE)
Georgia State University
Harvard University
University of Miami; Coral Gables
University of Michigan

A Special Double Barnum Award ---These Libraries apparently have paper subscriptions to both journals

Georgia State University
Harvard University
University of Michigan

Libraries with electronic subscriptions to one or both journals, purchased as part of a package.  Prices and contents of the package vary.

Arizona State
University of Arizona
University of Oklahoma
University of Texas, Arlington
Worcester Polytechnic University