Acton Institute Powerblog

Hurricanes and price gouging: More from Acton analysts

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Following Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, price gouging has become a hot topic of conversation. The prices of water, gasoline and hotel reservations in places effected by the hurricanes have skyrocketed, so it’s worth considering the ethical or unethical reasons behind price gouging.

Airlines are also facing much criticism for their high flight prices, many people claiming that airlines are taking advantage of customers. In a new article published on, the website for the News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida,Victor Claar, associate professor of economics at Florida Gulf Coast University, suggests that high airline ticket prices may not be totally due to price gouging. “Airlines always charge high prices for last-minute tickets. According to one recent study, anyone trying to buy a ticket within 21 days of travel is likely to be charged the highest possible price”.

Fortunately, there is a ceiling to the prices airlines can charge and some airlines are even choosing to reign in ticket prices in the face of hurricane Irma, Victor points out at the close of his piece.

Also in response to the controversy surrounding price gouging, Senior editor of the Acton Institute, Joe Carter, was quoted in a New York Times article by Andrew Ross Sorkin, as Joe aptly explained the ethics of price gouging in an article published last week. You can read Joe Carter’s full article here and Victor Claar’s full article here.


Associated Links

  • Business economics
  • Price gouging
  • Airline
  • Caroline Roberts Caroline Roberts has a B.A. in English from Grove City College and produces the Acton Institute’s podcast, Radio Free Acton.