Can Online Learning Bend the Higher Education Cost Curve?

Source: David James Deming, Claudia Goldin, Lawrence F. Katz, Noam Yuchtman, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NBER Working Paper No. w20890, January 2015
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From the abstract:
We examine whether online learning technologies have led to lower prices in higher education. Using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, we show that online education is concentrated in large for-profit chains and less-selective public institutions. Colleges with a higher share of online students charge lower tuition prices. We present evidence that real and relative prices for full-time undergraduate online education declined from 2006 to 2013. Although the pattern of results suggests some hope that online technology can “bend the cost curve” in higher education, the impact of online learning on education quality remains uncertain.