Economists Sign Petition: 'To End the Shortages, Repeal the Anti-Price Gouging Laws'

Economists Sign Petition: 'To End the Shortages, Repeal the Anti-Price Gouging Laws'

Press Release ( - NEW YORK - Apr 13, 2020 - Economists across the United States have signed a petition by Dr. Raymond C. Niles, economist and senior fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research and Assistant Professor of Economics & Management at DePauw University, imploring governors and legislatures to repeal or suspend anti-price gouging laws during the coronavirus emergency. Dr. Raymond C. Niles has privately organized the petition. Niles has studied this issue extensively and recently contributed a chapter to Coronavirus and Economic Crisis, edited by Peter G. Earle.

“Face masks, ventilators, and other medical supplies are urgently needed,” Niles explains. “And the only way we can ensure their ready supply is to allow prices to rise. A first step is to repeal these destructive ‘price gouging’ laws.”

The petition rapidly gathered nearly 150 signatures. Niles limited signatures primarily to those with advanced degrees in economics or finance.

The petition states in part:

“All of these laws are a form of price control, and they cause the shortages of the very products that can ensure our health and survival during this coronavirus epidemic, such as masks, sanitizers, gloves, testing kits, and other essential medical, hygiene, and food supplies.

Doctors and hospitals are having difficulty getting enough masks and gloves. And these shortages are spreading. Entire sections of grocery stores are being cleaned out as people panic-buy for fear of new shortages. Even toilet paper cannot be found in many stores.

None of this had to happen, and it can still end with vital medical supplies and abundance returning to the stores, if elected officials do one thing: repeal or, at a minimum, temporarily suspend the anti-price gouging laws.”

Niles and his supporters will submit the petition to the governors of the 36 states with anti-price gouging laws, and key legislators, President Trump, and members of Congress.

The full petition is available here:

The list of signatures and background is available here:

About Raymond C. Niles

Raymond C. Niles is a Senior Fellow with the American Institute for Economic Research and Assistant Professor of Economics & Management at DePauw University. He holds a PhD in Economics from George Mason University and an MBA in Finance & Economics from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. Prior to embarking on his academic career, Niles worked for more than 15 years on Wall Street as senior equity research analyst at Goldman Sachs, Schroders, and Citigroup, and as managing partner of a hedge fund investing in energy securities. In addition to numerous articles in scholarly and popular publications, Niles has contributed book chapters to The Morality of Finance, and the recently published book, Coronavirus and Economic Crisis, ed., by Peter G. Earle, and published by the American Institute for Economic Research.

For questions and interviews, contact Raymond C. Niles at or 917-930-0361.

Source : Raymond Niles, PhD Economist

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