William Dickens, University Distinguished Professor of Economics and Social Policy at Northeastern, spoke with News@Northeastern on the surprising national coin shortage resulting from our current viral pandemic.
If you’ve been out and about in the United States in the past few weeks (masked up, of course), you may have noticed a strange sound. Or rather, the lack of one: loose change jangling around.
A national coin shortage is the latest consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. As people avoid public spaces that include vending machines and laundromats, or just avoid paying with physical money altogether, the circulation of coins has dropped, says William Dickens, university distinguished professor of economics and social policy at Northeastern.
“Instead of being recirculated, those coins are just sitting in people’s pockets or in their dresser drawers—they’re not going back into the system,” he says.