Rent seeking

Arye L. Hillman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

The public- choice school was the originator of the view in the modern economics literature that incentives of self- interest apply in all human behavior, including personal behavior of political decision- makers and government bureaucrats, as well as individuals, groups, and corporations seeking favors from government. Rents are akin to favors or gifts; if it is known that political decision- makers and government bureaucrats are prone to exercise discretion in assigning rents, and if the privileged favors that provide the rents are contestable, it is in the self- interest of prospective beneficiaries of the rents to contest the rents. The time, effort, initiative, and resources used in contesting rents are lost to productive contribution to a society's output. A social loss is therefore incurred because of rent seeking. The focus of the rent- seeking literature has been on evaluating the magnitude of the social loss.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Elgar Companion to Public Choice, Second Edition
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Pages307-330
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781849806039
ISBN (Print)9781849802857
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Michael Reksulak, Laura Razzolini and William F. Shughart II 2013. All rights reserved.

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