Alternative formsEdit


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rent seeking (uncountable)

  1. (economics) The attempt to profit by manipulating the economic or political environment, especially by the use of subsidies.
    • 1974, AO Krueger, “The political economy of the rent-seeking society”, in The American Economic Review:
      Sometimes, such competition is perfectly legal. In other instances, rent seeking takes other forms, such as bribery, corruption, smuggling, and black markets
    • 2001, James M. Buchanan, Choice, Contract and Constitutions, vol. 16, The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan, page 258-259:
      People find it privately rational to invest resources in efforts to secure differentially favored access to the economic power inherent in bureaucratic discretion. This rent seeking on the part of those who compete for the scarce access to valued goods ... represents wasteful investment on the part of all people who are unsuccessful in the competitive effort. (quotation from hardcopy, online version here)
      in 2011.
    • 2006, Walter J. Wessels, Economics‎, page 542:
      Legislation can result in rents (and profits) to special-interest groups. However, rent seeking by seeking favorable legislation can be costly (e.g., in contributions to campaigns).

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