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An experimental examination of rational rent-seeking

In: 40 Years of Research on Rent Seeking 1

Author

Listed:
  • Jan Potters

    (Tilburg University)

  • Casper G. Vries

    (Tinbergen Institute and Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Frans Winden

    (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

The theoretical literature exploring various ramifications and applications of Tullock’ s (1980) rent-seeking model is extensive and rapidly growing. In contrast, there exist as yet only a few experimental evaluations of this model, with ambiguous results. Moreover, these studies focus on one particular case (proportional probabilities) and use a problematic experimental design. With an appropriate design we investigate the extreme cases of proportional probabilities and perfect discrimination, which offer the starkest contrast in theoretical predictions. We find substantial evidence for the predictive power of the rent-seeking model, particularly if one allows for the fact that people sometimes make mistakes or are confused about what to do.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Potters & Casper G. Vries & Frans Winden, 1998. "An experimental examination of rational rent-seeking," Springer Books, in: Roger D. Congleton & Arye L. Hillman & Kai A. Konrad (ed.), 40 Years of Research on Rent Seeking 1, pages 663-680, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sprchp:978-3-540-79182-9_48
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-79182-9_48
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael R. Baye & Dan Kovenock & Casper G. Vries, 1996. "The all-pay auction with complete information," Springer Books, in: Roger D. Congleton & Arye L. Hillman & Kai A. Konrad (ed.), 40 Years of Research on Rent Seeking 1, pages 209-223, Springer.
    2. Douglas Davis & Robert Reilly, 1998. "Do too many cooks always spoil the stew? An experimental analysis of rent-seeking and the role of a strategic buyer," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 89-115, April.
    3. Roth, Alvin E. & Erev, Ido, 1995. "Learning in extensive-form games: Experimental data and simple dynamic models in the intermediate term," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 164-212.
    4. Jason F. Shogren & Kyung H. Baik, 2008. "Reexamining efficient rent-seeking in laboratory markets," Springer Books, in: Roger D. Congleton & Arye L. Hillman & Kai A. Konrad (ed.), 40 Years of Research on Rent Seeking 1, pages 651-661, Springer.
    5. Ledyard, John O., "undated". "Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research," Working Papers 861, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    6. Baye, Michael R & Kovenock, Dan & de Vries, Casper G, 1994. "The Solution to the Tullock Rent-Seeking Game When R Is Greater Than 2: Mixed-Strategy Equilibria and Mean Dissipation Rates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 81(3-4), pages 363-380, December.
    7. Ellingsen, Tore, 1991. "Strategic Buyers and the Social Cost of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 648-657, June.
    8. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
    9. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1993. "The Solution to the Tullock Rent-Seeking Game when R > 2: Mixed Strategy Equilibria and Mean Dissipation Rates," Papers 10-93-9, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
    10. Edward Millner & Michael Pratt, 1989. "An experimental investigation of efficient rent-seeking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 139-151, August.
    11. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian, 1997. "Rent Dissipation When Rent Seekers Are Budget Constrained," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 92(1-2), pages 109-126, July.
    12. Tore Ellingsen, 2008. "Strategic Buyers and the Social Cost of Monopoly," Springer Books, in: Roger D. Congleton & Arye L. Hillman & Kai A. Konrad (ed.), 40 Years of Research on Rent Seeking 1, pages 399-408, Springer.
    13. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rent-seeking model; Experimental tests;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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