rationing

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Fig. 165 Rationing.

rationing

a physical method of allocating a product that is in short supply relative to demand (EXCESS DEMAND). In a free market this situation would not arise - the excess demand would be ‘choked off and additional supply encouraged by an increase in the price of the product (see EQUILIBRIUM MARKET PRICE). But if the price is fixed below its equilibrium rate (for example, by the government wishing to hold down the prices of key products such as food), the use of ration tickets provides one practical means of allocating the available supply between consumers on an equitable basis.

In Fig. 165, for example, if the price of a product is fixed by the government at Or, then it is necessary to ration the amount of output that producers are willing to supply, OQr, at this price amongst consumers who are demanding the greater amount of OQs. See also BLACK MARKET, PRICE CONTROLS.

References in classic literature ?
A dainty eater, he found that his mates, finishing first, robbed him of his unfinished ration. There was no defending it.
He was standing in the messroom at the time and the evening rations were being served out.
They were not too abundantly provisioned, and they were put on short rations, and for all the thick garments they had, they were but ill-equipped against the piercing wind and inhospitable violence of this wilderness.
Alexander Smollett, master; David Livesey, ship's doctor; Abraham Gray, carpenter's mate; John Trelawney, owner; John Hunter and Richard Joyce, owner's servants, landsmen--being all that is left faithful of the ship's company--with stores for ten days at short rations, came ashore this day and flew British colours on the log-house in Treasure Island.
Besides dropping the ration bags through helicopters, the relief operation in the towns and villages where the communication facility is available is being carried out with full swing, the spokesman said and added that medical and paramedical staff of Army including lady doctors also busy in providing medical aid to drought hit people of Tharparkar.
BAGHDAD/ Aswat al-Iraq: Iraqi Trade Ministry announced today its adoption of London sugar prices in its international contracts for the food ration card.
It is not an issue of "Will we ration?" The question is "How will rationing occur?" In a typical capitalist society, goods and services are rationed by the amount that people can pay for them--what economists call "implicit rationing." Anyone can obtain what they can afford and cannot buy what they cannot pay for.
The Kurdish Globe By Salih Waladbagi -- Erbil Iraq's Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki announced that the food ration system has to be reformed and revised.
JEDDAH: The government is making arrangements to implement a ration card system that includes all government-subsidized basic goods.
* Butter - 2oz * Sugar - 8oz * Cheese - 2oz * Bacon and ham - 4oz * Meat - to the value of 1s 2d (the equivalent of about pounds 1.50 today) * Eggs -one per adult * Dried eggs - one packet a month * Margarine - 4oz * Milk - two pints * Tea - 2oz * Sweets - 3oz Despite all the difficulties there was always plenty of vegetables and fish, which were off ration.
In 2009, however, it erupted violently in newspaper headlines across America when Sarah Palin and others charged that proposed end-of-life counseling for Medicare beneficiaries constituted "death panels" that would ration care and decide the fate of elderly Americans (Saltonstall 2009; Rutenberg and Calmes 2009).
Tea was still on ration until 1952 while 1953 saw the end of sugar and egg rationing and in 1954 cheese and meats finally came off ration as well.