Eliminating rationing in the United Kingdom following the Second World War was a concern for policy-makers because of potentially large fluctuations in post-war prices and the impact on unrationed goods. This study shows that in using virtual prices, elasticities can be estimated from
a ‘free’ demand system consistent with observed consumer choices. Substitution estimates without accounting for rationing are misleading. In contrast, using virtual prices and estimating a ‘free’ market system yield results similar to those of the pre-war period. Results
show that food rationing affected expenditure across unrationed goods. Rationing on other services had little effect on expenditure across unrationed goods.