Rationing

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Rationing'

The artificial restriction of raw materials, goods or services. Rationing commonly occurs when governments fear a shortage and want to make sure people have access to necessities, such as after a natural disaster or during a war. Governments can also impose rationing in the face of failed policies such as central planning, or may be forced to use rationing as a result of shortages.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Rationing'

For example, during World War II, the U.S. government imposed rationing on the country so that sufficient materials and production capabilities would be available to the military. It did not matter how much of an item an individual or family wanted or could afford to purchase; people were only allowed to purchase a limited amount specified by the government and controlled by ration coupons. Items including tires, gasoline, sugar, meat, butter and many others were subject to rationing.


Rationing can lead to the creation of black markets for the rationed goods. Black markets allow individuals to use their allotment of a rationed good that they don't need to obtain more of a rationed good that they do need.



RELATED TERMS
  1. Black Market

    Economic activity that takes place outside government-sanctioned ...
  2. Gray Market

    An unofficial market where securities are traded. Gray (or “grey”) ...
  3. Law Of Supply

    A microeconomic law stating that, all other factors being equal, ...
  4. Law Of Demand

    A microeconomic law that states that, all other factors being ...
  5. Price Ceiling

    The maximum price a seller is allowed to charge for a product ...
  6. Black Economy

    The segment of a country's economic activity that is derived ...
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    Understanding Supply-Side Economics

    Does the amount of goods and services produced set the pace for economic growth? Here are the arguments.
  2. Economics

    What Determines Gas Prices?

    Gas prices are influenced by more than supply and demand. Find out what determines the price you pay at the pump.
  3. Personal Finance

    State-Run Economies: From Public To Private

    Find out how former Iron Curtain countries used private enterprise to join the world financial markets.
  4. Economics

    Are Greece’s Worries Almost Over?

    Last week ended with the news that Greece and the European Union (EU) finance ministers struck a deal to temporarily extend the Greek bailout program.
  5. Economics

    Why Is Ukraine At War? A Russian Rivalry With West

    Huge power games which are being played behind the Ukrainian conflict are rooted in a previous revolution, a past Cold War, and an old Russia-West rivalry.
  6. Economics

    Does A Junk Rating Reflect Russia's Fundamentals?

    Moody’s, like other credit rating agencies, has downgraded Russia’s sovereign debt rating to non-investment grade, but does this reflect Russia's economy?
  7. Economics

    This Is A Small Country With Huge Potential to Grow

    Trinidad and Tobago's increased revenue and economic success have been primarily generated by its energy sector, but it still might be best to diversify.
  8. Economics

    Popular Places Where U.S. Citizens Need A Visa

    A U.S. passport will get you into many countries, but not everywhere. Here's how to visit five of the most popular destinations that require visas.
  9. Economics

    What's a Subsidy?

    A subsidy is a benefit given to an individual, business or institution, typically by the government. Subsidies are given to promote a social good or an economic policy. The government usually ...
  10. Economics

    How To Pass The U.S. Citizenship Test

    The U.S. citizenship test includes a civics section some states may require high school grads to master. Here's what an immigrant must know to pass it.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Efficiency Ratio

    Ratios that are typically used to analyze how well a company uses its assets and liabilities internally. Efficiency Ratios ...
  2. Fixed Cost

    A cost that does not change with an increase or decrease in the amount of goods or services produced. Fixed costs are expenses ...
  3. Subsidy

    A benefit given by the government to groups or individuals usually in the form of a cash payment or tax reduction. The subsidy ...
  4. Sunk Cost

    A cost that has already been incurred and thus cannot be recovered. A sunk cost differs from other, future costs that a business ...
  5. Technical Skills

    1. The knowledge and abilities needed to accomplish mathematical, engineering, scientific or computer-related duties, as ...
  6. Prepaid Expense

    A type of asset that arises on a balance sheet as a result of business making payments for goods and services to be received ...
Trading Center