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Related to price controls: Price ceiling
A government regulation limiting the percentage (or, rarely, dollar amount) by which a price for a good or service can change over a given period of time. Price controls have been used to combat inflation, though they are rarely successful. Price controls may also be utilized to protect a favored industry, and are used most commonly to provide a minimum price for agricultural products. See also: Wage control, Price ceiling, Price floor.
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price controlsthe specification by the government of minimum and/or maximum PRICES for goods and services. The price may be fixed at a level below the market EQUILIBRIUM PRICE or above it, depending on the objective in mind. In the former case, for example, the government may wish to keep the price of some essential good (for example, food) down as a means of assisting poor consumers. In the latter case, the aim may be to ensure that producers receive an adequate return (see PRICE SUPPORT). More generally, price controls may be applied across a wide range of goods and services as part of a PRICES AND INCOMES POLICY aimed at combating INFLATION. See also RATIONING.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005