rationing

(redirected from rations)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Rationingclick for a larger image
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.

Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
References in classic literature ?
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.
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.
Several times the Prince grew angry; once with a man who was working slowly, once with a man who stole a comrade's ration. The first he scolded and set to a more tedious task; the second he struck in the face and ill-used.
A dainty eater, he found that his mates, finishing first, robbed him of his unfinished ration. There was no defending it.
Women's magazines were packed with recipes, tips on saving waste and stretching meagre rations while providing the family with nutritious meals.
Rations per person a week were 8oz sugar, 6oz meat, 1 egg, 4oz of butter, fat, cheese and bacon, with tea and sweets at 2oz.
THE priceless misjudgement of the week was of course the millionaire Tory Alan Duncan's ludicrous claim that MPs are forced to live on rations.
The firm have created army rations of chocolate chip cake and fruit salad in syrup for British soldiers abroad.
FRONTLINE Merseyside troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan have not been provided with any fresh rations for 40 days.
Balanced livestock rations are mixtures of feedstuffs that, when consumed within 24 hours, will supply the animal with the proper levels of all required nutrients.