On The Allocative Effects of Rent Seeking
AbstractWe consider the effects of rent-seeking activities on resource allocation. Before rent-seeking activities take place, there are prior probabilities that an object will be given to one of several agents. The posterior probability depends on prior probabilities and the expenses incurred by all agents. In the case of two agents who equally value the object, prior and posterior probabilities coincide, and thus rent seeking has no effect on resource allocation. If there are two agents with different valuations of the object or we have more than two agents, rent seeking matters and posterior probabilities reflect the valuations of the agents.
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