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News - March 18, 2020

Hoarding is a product of panic-based demand, but it doesn’t have to be that way, experts say – Green Bay Press Gazette

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Video: take a look inside of Woodman’s Markets during heavy shopping on March 14 Green Bay Press-Gazette

Panic-based demand.

That’s what one local economist called the astonishing run on household items, especially toilet paper, that has left store shelves empty in Green Bay and all over the world.

“It’s like a run on the bank, or part of what makes the stock market crash,” said Will Wheeler, an economy professor at St. Norbert College.

Wheeler described the phenomenon as “a feed-back loop.” The fear causes hoarding, the hoarding causes a shortage, the shortage causes fear — and the cycle repeats.

“There’s not much reason for it,” he said. “It’s essentially panic-based demand.  It’s not like corona is a diarrhea-focused disease. They’re buying entirely out of fear.”

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OK, but why toilet paper, of all things? And in Green Bay, yet. The toilet paper capital of the world.

“I would never have guessed I’d see people buying the way they’re buying right now,
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