Texas Tech University

Gouge much? Purell for $149, face masks for $20: Coronavirus price hikes are making everyone mad

USA Today

March 4, 2020

USA Today - Would you pay $149 for a two-pack of 12-ounce bottles of Purell? How about a single container of Clorox wipes for $44.25, plus $14.59 shipping? As the coronavirus spreads and people rush to protect themselves and their families from getting sick, the U.S. is seeing heavy demand for everything from masks to hand sanitizer.

Economists say a sharp increase in prices either by retailers or wholesalers is the natural response to such a sudden surge in demand and can help replenish supplies.

“These higher prices reward suppliers ready to meet that surge in demand either from existing stocks or by quickly ramping up production,” says Michael Giberson, an economics professor with Texas Tech University's Rawls College of Business. 

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