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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).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Almost all controlled items were rationed by weight, but meat was rationed by price.
In the European studies, care activities related to emotional and psychological support were rationed most frequently while prescribed physical/physiological treatment-related activities were rationed least frequently (Papastavrou et al., 2014; Schubert et al., 2013).
ranked and rationed by the degree of "need" or "medical
Only after these preliminary steps were taken, transportation production could be rationed by ...
(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.
It is also worth mentioning that bread was not rationed until after the war was over.
I especially remember the chocolate because I liked it very much, and it had been rationed during the war."
Access to drugs can be rationed by implicit means, for example, in areas where no HIV testing or CD4 evaluation is available.
{25} This statement mirrored advertisements used in motor industry lobbying during the election campaign that proclaimed "An all in war is impossible on rationed petrol" and "Death to Industry.
Milk, the first food listed in the guide, is, fortunately, available and not rationed. A quart a day goes far toward meeting daily needs.