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Economic Definition of price ceiling. Defined.

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Term price ceiling Definition: A legally established maximum price. The government is occasionally inclined to keep the price of one good or another from rising too high. Examples include apartments, gasoline, and natural gas. While the goal is invariably a noble one--like keeping stuff affordable for poor people--a price ceiling often does more harm than good. First, it usually creates a shortage, meaning that many of the buyers who being protected against high prices, can't even buy the good. Second, as a consequence of this shortage, a price ceiling is likely to generate a black market where the good is sold illegally above the price ceiling.


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