Price Controls

Definition of 'Price Controls'


Government mandated minimum or maximum prices that can be charged for specified goods. Governments sometimes implement price controls when prices on essential items, such as food or oil, are rising rapidly.

Also known as "price floors" or "price celings".

Investopedia explains 'Price Controls'


History has shown that price controls are, at best, effective only on a very short-term basis. Over the long term, they can lead to shortages, rationing, quality deterioration and black markets.

Consider the price controls placed by the Nixon and Carter administrations on gasoline, which led to long lines at the pump and restrictions on how much gas could be purchased during the 1970s.

Rent control provides another example of the ineffectiveness of price controls. Rent controls, such as those used in New York City, are intended to keep housing prices affordable. Instead, they decrease the supply of rental housing and thereby raise prices of existing rental housing. In a vicious cycle, rent controls discourage new landlords from entering the market and cause existing ones to leave, creating a supply of housing that is less than the free market would allow and causing further upward pressure on housing rental prices. Rent controls also reduce the financial incentives for landlords to maintain and improve their properties, leading to lower quality housing.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
  2. Harvest Strategy

    A strategy in which investment in a particular line of business is reduced or eliminated because the revenue brought in by additional investment would not warrant the expense. A harvest strategy is employed when a line of business is considered to be a cash cow, meaning that the brand is mature and is unlikely to grow if more investment is added.
  3. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will be executed at a specified price (or better) after a given stop price has been reached. Once the stop price is reached, the stop-limit order becomes a limit order to buy (or sell) at the limit price or better.
  4. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
  5. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
  6. Budget Deficit

    A status of financial health in which expenditures exceed revenue. The term "budget deficit" is most commonly used to refer to government spending rather than business or individual spending. When referring to accrued federal government deficits, the term "national debt” is used.
Trading Center