UOW expert: Dr Alfredo Paloyo on panic buying toilet paper

UOW expert: Dr Alfredo Paloyo on panic buying toilet paper

As some supermarkets reintroduce purchase limits in Victoria to avoid a second wave of toilet paper panic buying, Dr Alfredo Paloyo explains why it happens

Coles and Woolworths have reintroduced purchase limits on toilet paper in Victoria in an effort to prevent a second wave of panic buying.

Dr Alfredo Paloyo, senior lecturer in Economics at the University of Wollongong (UOW), says panic buying is the result of the fear of missing out. It’s a phenomenon of consumer behaviour similar to what happens when there is a run on banks.

“A bank run occurs when depositors of a bank withdraw cash because they believe it might collapse. What we saw in March and what we’re seeing now is a toilet-paper run,” he says.

“I don’t like to call these people who stockpile idiots and I don’t think they’re silly, what they’re doing is rational and for their own self-interest. There is a problem here because what we are seeing is individually beneficial, but for the collective good that’s not what we want to happen.”

You can read more about Dr Alfredo Paloyo’s explanation of panic buying at The Conversation.

Dr Paloyo is available for interview.