IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Efficient mercantilism? Revenue-maximizing monopoly policies as Ramsey taxation

  • Congleton, Roger D.
  • Lee, Sanghack

The economics literature on mercantilism tends to emphasize gold hoarding and external barriers to trade as defining characteristics. Medieval institutions, however, included a host of internal barriers to trade as well as external ones, and monopoly privileges and high offices were often for sale. In this paper, we analyze how a stable unitary government's regulatory policies may be affected by revenues and other services generated by the efforts of rent seekers. Competition for monopoly privilege can be a significant source of government revenue that augments tax revenues, especially in settings in which collecting ordinary tax revenues is problematic. A revenue-maximizing government encourages greater monopolization than is compatible with economic efficiency, but sells monopoly privileges in a manner that promotes innovation and partially accounts for the deadweight losses associated with monopolized markets. Our analysis provides a possible public finance explanation for relatively successful authoritarian states that have relatively little corruption, but many internal and external barriers to trade.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V97-4SXYFV7-1/2/4cca2b9efa38cfabc5c32adbb9bc0c30
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 25 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 102-114

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:25:y:2009:i:1:p:102-114
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 2000. "Shadow Economies Around the World; Size, Causes, and Consequences," IMF Working Papers 00/26, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Segerstrom, Paul S, 1991. "Innovation, Imitation, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 807-27, August.
  3. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
  4. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 2006. "Contest architecture," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 70-96, January.
  5. Ekelund, Robert B. & Hebert, Robert F. & Tollison, Robert D. & Anderson, Gary M. & Davidson, Audrey B., 1997. "Sacred Trust: The Medieval Church as an Economic Firm," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195103373, March.
  6. Appelbaum, Elie & Katz, Eliakim, 1987. "Seeking Rents by Setting Rents: The Political Economy of Rent Seeking," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 685-99, September.
  7. H. Parker Willis, 1912. "Political Obstacles to Anti-Trust Legislation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20, pages 588.
  8. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  9. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson Jr., 1996. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 72-96, March.
  10. Gradstein, Mark & Konrad, Kai A, 1999. "Orchestrating Rent Seeking Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 536-45, October.
  11. Gary S. Becker, 1984. "Public Policies, Pressure Groups, and Dead Weight Costs," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 35, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  12. Daniel F. Spulber, 1989. "Regulation and Markets," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262192756, June.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521794497 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Ling Hui Tan & Carlos D. Ramírez, 2003. "Singapore, Inc. Versus the Private Sector; Are Government-Linked Companies Different?," IMF Working Papers 03/156, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Jean-Jacques LAFFONT & Jean TIROLE, 1990. "The Politics of Government Decision-Making : a Theory of Regulatory Capture," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9004, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  16. Isaac Ehrlich & Francis T. Lui, 1999. "Bureaucratic Corruption and Endogenous Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S270-S293, December.
  17. Lee, Sanghack, 2000. " Which Rectangle?: An Extension," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(3-4), pages 389-90, September.
  18. James A. Brander & Barbara J. Spencer, 1983. "Trade Warfare: Tariffs and Cartels," NBER Working Papers 1193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521583299 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Hillman, Arye L. & Katz, Eliakim, 1987. "Hierarchical structure and the social costs of bribes and transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 129-142, November.
  22. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  23. Anderson, Gary M & Boettke, Peter J, 1997. " Soviet Venality: A Rent-Seeking Model of the Communist State," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(1-2), pages 37-53, October.
  24. Lott, John Jr., 1990. "Predation by public enterprises," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 237-251, November.
  25. Marcouiller, Douglas & Young, Leslie, 1995. "The Black Hole of Graft: The Predatory State and the Informal Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 630-46, June.
  26. Horowitz, Andrew W & Lai, Edwin L-C, 1996. "Patent Length and the Rate of Innovation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(4), pages 785-801, November.
  27. Glazer, Amihai & Hassin, Refael, 1988. "Optimal Contests," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(1), pages 133-43, January.
  28. Roger Congleton, 1988. "Evaluating rent-seeking losses: Do the welfare gains of lobbyists count?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 56(2), pages 181-184, February.
  29. Kwangshik Shin, 2002. "The Treatment of Market Power in Korea," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 113-128, September.
  30. Hillman, Arye L. & Schnytzer, Adi, 1986. "Illegal economic activities and purges in a Soviet-type economy: A rent-seeking perspective," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 87-99, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:25:y:2009:i:1:p:102-114. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.