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A theory of rent seeking with informational foundations

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  • Johan Lagerlöf

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Abstract

I develop a model of rent seeking with informational foundations and an arbitrary number of rent seekers, and I compare the results with Tullock's (1980) classic model where the influence activities are "black-boxed." Given the microfoundations, the welfare consequences of rent seeking can be studied. In particular, I show that competition among rent seekers can be socially beneficial, since the additional information that the decision maker gets access to makes the increase in rent-seeking expenditures worthwhile. However, the analysis also highlights a logic that, under natural parameter assumptions, makes the rent seekers spend more resources on rent seeking than is in society's interest, which is consistent with the spirit of the rent-seeking literature.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10101-006-0026-8
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economics of Governance.

Volume (Year): 8 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 197-218

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Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:8:y:2007:i:3:p:197-218

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Related research

Keywords: Rent seeking; Competition; Lobbying; Information acquisition; Disclosure; Welfare; D42; D43; D72; D83; L13;

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References

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  1. Lagerlof, Johan N.M. & Heidhues, Paul, 2005. "On the desirability of an efficiency defense in merger control," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 803-827, December.
  2. Potters, Jan & van Winden, Frans, 1992. " Lobbying and Asymmetric Information," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 269-92, October.
  3. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "The Politics of Government Decision-Making: A Theory of Regulatory Capture," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1089-127, November.
  4. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1985. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 749, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
  6. Morten Bennedsen & Sven E. Feldmann, 2000. "Lobbying Legislatures," CIE Discussion Papers 2000-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  7. Lohmann, Susanne, 1994. "Information Aggregation through Costly Political Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 518-30, June.
  8. Tullock, Gordon, 1975. "On the Efficient Organization of Trials," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 745-62.
  9. Posner, Richard A, 1975. "The Social Costs of Monopoly and Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 807-27, August.
  10. Lars Frisell & Johan N. M. Lagerlöf, 2007. "A Model of Reputation in Cheap Talk," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(1), pages 49-70, 03.
  11. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
  12. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Stergios Skaperdas & Samarth Vaidya, 2008. "Persuasion as a Contest," Economics Series 2008_07, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  2. Martin Gregor, 2011. "Corporate lobbying: A review of the recent literature," Working Papers IES 2011/32, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Nov 2011.
  3. Etienne Farvaque & Gael Lagadec, 2009. "Electoral Control when Policies are for Sale," CESifo Working Paper Series 2522, CESifo Group Munich.

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