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Knoxville — For several years, shopping malls around the country have offered indoor Trick-or-Treating to children for Halloween.

And a University of Tennessee economist says parents are using their time at the mall to make purchases.

But Matt Murray says the parents are not spending money they otherwise would save. “I see this trend as simply switching the timing of household purchases,” says Murray. “Rather than a husband or wife going out and doing some shopping at the mall, they may take the children with them and shop while the children Trick-or-Treat,” says Murray.