On the Measurement of Rent Seeking and Its Social Opportunity Cost
Utilizing 4-digit industry data by county, we compare the allocation of resources across industries in state capital areas with noncapital areas. We are able to identify which industries are expanded and contracted relative to noncapital areas. Our results provide the first direct evidence and measurement of the foregone productive activity resulting from resources being reallocated toward rent seeking and interest group activity. Our data also allow us to measure total rent seeking, and also to isolate the extent of indirect and in-kind rent seeking, which can account for part of the Tullock paradox. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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