When the government imposes a binding price ceiling on a competitive market, a shortage of the good
arises, and sellers must ration the scarce goods among the large number of potential buyers.
The rationing mechanisms that develop under price ceilings are rarely desirable.Long lines are
inefﬁcient because they waste buyers'time.Discrimination according to seller bias is both
inefﬁcient (because the good does not necessarily go to the buyer who values it most highly) and
By contrast,the rationing mechanism in a free,competitive market is both efﬁcient and impersonal.
When the market for ice cream reaches its equilibrium,anyone who wants to pay the market price
can get a cone.Free markets ration goods with prices.
In the case of a price