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Rent Seeking, Market Structure and Growth

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  • Daniel Brou
  • Michele Ruta

Abstract

We construct a model where firms compete in both political and economic markets. In political markets, firms compete for influence over government transfer policy (rents). This activity can be beneficial for the firm, but is purely wasteful from the point of view of society because resources are utilized to achieve a redistribution of income. In the economic market, firms compete for market share through cost reducing technological innovation. Market structure plays an important role in this economy because competition drives firms to invest more in innovation resulting in higher growth. Rent-seeking affects economic growth in two important ways. It diverts resources away from innovation and it affects the number of firms that are supported in equilibrium. The former has a negative effect on growth while the latter effect is ambiguous, depending on whether rent seeking induces entry or exit. This market structure effect depends on a combination of political and economic factors that the theory highlights.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2007/03.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/03

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Keywords: Rent Seeking; Market Structure; R&D Investment; Growth; Welfare;

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  1. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
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  4. Benjamin R. Bridgman & Igor D. Livshits & James C. MacGee, 2004. "For Sale: Barriers to Riches," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20043, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
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  12. 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.
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  14. Peretto, Pietro F, 1998. " Technological Change, Market Rivalry, and the Evolution of the Capitalist Engine of Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 53-80, March.
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  16. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
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