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

References in periodicals archive ?
ranked and rationed by the degree of "need" or "medical
But CO2 and other social wages are identical in their need to be rationed to ensure that everyone receives enough for a good quality life.
6) There is evidence, for example, that when patient mobilisation is rationed, there is a direct link with decubitis ulcers, pneumonia and toss of general condition.
But if no more rationed gasoline is sold and gasoline continues to be available at the current unrationed price, then prices will jump four-fold on September 23--from 37 1/2 cents per U.
Milk, the first food listed in the guide, is, fortunately, available and not rationed.
An initial concern one might have with the book is whether Hall's inquiry into who should make rationing decisions begs the question whether medical care should be rationed at all.
However, the health care system of the richest and most powerful country on earth is increasingly an un just system in which access to medical care is rationed by the ability to pay.
After being rationed on the East Coast, gasoline was added to the responsibilities of all boards in December 1942, not in order to preserve gasoline, which was running short only in the East, but to preserve rubber.
In California alone, numbers in five area codes are currently being rationed, and TCG faces rationing of numbers in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
The allowances seem meagre today, but people didn't starve - bacon and ham was rationed at 4ozs a week, sugar at 12ozs and butter at 4ozs.
For instance, eggs were not rationed and nor was offal such as liver and kidney - if you could find it.