rationing

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rationing,

allotment of scarce supplies, usually by governmental decree, to provide equitable distribution. It may be employed also to conserve economic resources and to reinforce price and production controls. Originally used in community emergencies and in distributing supplies to sailors, rationing was first organized on a national scale in Great Britain during World War I, and during World War II it spread to most of the world. The methods used have varied according to the degree of rationing needed and to the products. Rationing methods include specific rationing, or allotment in terms of physical units; point rationing, the allotment of points (ration stamps) to be apportioned by the user among commodities of a given group; and value rationing, allotment in terms of expenditure. Rations may be allotted to individuals, institutions, and industrial users, or to communities, as in rural areas of undeveloped countries. In universal rationing, ration currency is issued to everyone in equal amounts; in differential rationing, the allocation is based on need and may vary according to occupation, age, sex, or health. In the so-called flow-back system, ration currency, usually distributed by the government to the consumer, moves upward from the consumer level to the manufacturer or processor as the product moves down. During World War II, rationing in the United States was administered by the Office of Price AdministrationOffice of Price Administration
(OPA), U.S. federal agency in World War II, established to prevent wartime inflation. The OPA issued (Apr., 1942) a general maximum-price regulation that made prices charged in Mar., 1942, the ceiling prices for most commodities.
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Bibliography

See W. A. Nielander, Wartime Food Rationing in the United States (1947).

References in periodicals archive ?
government securities, making fewer loan commitments, and reducing credit availability through price and nonprice rationing.
Despite banks' attempts at nonprice rationing, business demand for credit remained strong.
Instead, they must use the secondary credit program that continues to rely on nonprice rationing (close scrutiny of reasons for borrowing, means of repayment, and changes in condition) in addition to price rationing (a rate 50 basis points higher than the primary credit rate).