Price control

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A price control is a law or regulation that limits the prices that can be charged for a good or service. Historically its use in free enterprise economies has mostly been limited to times of war, but has also been imposed in times of peace as a misguided way of controlling the economy. Price controls can be imposed in a piecemeal fashion, in the form of either price ceilings or price floors. One example of a price floor are minimum wage laws.

363 federal court decisions discuss "price controls" and the "Fifth Amendment," which includes the protection of the Takings Clause against a deprivation of contract without just compensation, but only 61 federal court decisions discuss "price controls" and a right to privately contract.[1]

  • ... price controls would lead to less research and development in the pharmaceutical industry, fewer new prescription drugs, and the reduced availability of prescription drugs[2]

Price controls were first enacted into U.S. law with the 1906 Hepburn Act.


  1. E.g., the terms (("contract clause") or "right to contract" or "privately contract" or (obligations w/3 clause))
  2. Guaranteed Pain and Suffering: The Recent Research on Drug Price Controls - Derek Hunter - November 3, 2005

See also