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The Welfare Costs of Rationing by Waiting

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  • Deacon, Robert T
  • Sonstelie, Jon

Abstract

With price controls and rationing by waiting, rational consumers increase the quantity bought per purchase. This individually rational response is socially wasteful and the cost of making it is a deadweight loss. This cost plus the value of time spent in queues may exceed the total rent transferred from suppliers to consumers by price controls, i.e., the value of resources spent competing for the rent may exceed the rent itself. This point is illustrated by an empirical application to gasoline price controls. Rent seeking exhausts an estimated 116 percent of the rent transferred. Copyright 1989 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 27 (1989)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 179-96

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:27:y:1989:i:2:p:179-96

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Cited by:
  1. Edward L. Glaeser, 1996. "The Social Costs of Rent Control Revisted," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1747, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Mireia Jofre-Bonet, 2000. "Public health care and private insurance demand: The waiting time as a link," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 51-71, January.
  3. Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2007. "Does the Minimum Wage Cause Inefficient Rationing?," Working Paper Series rwp07-018, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. Lui, Hon-Kwong & Suen, Wing, 2011. "The effects of public housing on internal mobility in Hong Kong," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 15-29, March.
  5. Debra Moore Patterson, 1996. "Reform in Eastern Europe: A General Equilibrium Model with Distortions in Relative Prices and Factor Markets," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(2), pages 457-72, May.
  6. Parry, Ian, 2001. "On the Efficiency of Public and Private Health Care Systems: An Application to Alternative Health Policies in the United Kingdom," Discussion Papers dp-01-07, Resources For the Future.
  7. Tim Besley & John Hall & Ian Preston, 1996. "The demand for private health insurance: do waiting lists matter?," IFS Working Papers W96/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Maria Arbatskaya & Kaushik Mukhopadhaya & Eric Rasmusen, 2001. "The Parking Lot Problem," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-119, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    • Maria Arbatskaya & Kaushik Mukhopadhaya & Eric Rasmusen, 2007. "The Parking Lot Problem," Working Papers 2007-04, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  9. Akbar Marvasti, 2006. "A Contingent Valuation of Customer Delay in Medical Services," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 31-45, Winter.
  10. Edward L. Glaeser & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2003. "The Misallocation of Housing Under Rent Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1027-1046, September.
  11. Fleck, Robert K., 2014. "Can prohibitions on “price gouging” reduce deadweight losses?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 100-107.

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