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A Theory of Rent Seeking with Informational Foundations

  • Lagerlöf, Johan N. M.

I develop a model of rent seeking with informational foundations and an arbitrary number of rent seekers, and I compare the results with Tullock's (1980) classic model where the influence activities are "black-boxed." Given the microfoundations, the welfare consequences of rent seeking can be studied. In particular, I show that competition among rent seekers can be socially beneficial, since the additional information that the decision maker gets access to makes the increase in rent-seeking expenditures worthwhile. However, the analysis also highlights a logic that, under natural parameter assumptions, makes the rent seekers spend more resources on rent seeking than is in society's interest, which is consistent with the spirit of the rent-seeking literature.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5893.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5893
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  1. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
  2. Lars Frisell & Johan N. M. Lagerlöf, 2007. "A Model of Reputation in Cheap Talk," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(1), pages 49-70, 03.
  3. Tullock, Gordon, 1975. "On the Efficient Organization of Trials," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 745-62.
  4. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1986. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 18-32, Spring.
  5. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "The Politics of Government Decision-Making: A Theory of Regulatory Capture," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1089-127, November.
  6. Morten Bennedsen & Sven E. Feldmann, 2002. "Lobbying Legislatures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 919-948, August.
  7. 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.
  8. Lagerlof, Johan N.M. & Heidhues, Paul, 2005. "On the desirability of an efficiency defense in merger control," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 803-827, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Potters, Jan & van Winden, Frans, 1992. " Lobbying and Asymmetric Information," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 269-92, October.
  11. Lohmann, Susanne, 1994. "Information Aggregation through Costly Political Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 518-30, June.
  12. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
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