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On the cost of rent-seeking by government bureaucrats in a Real-Business-Cycle framework

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  • Aleksandar Vasilev

Abstract

This paper studies the wasteful effect of bureaucracy on the economy by addressing the link between rent-seeking behavior of government bureaucrats and the public sector wage bill, which is taken to represent the rent component. In particular, public officials are modeled as individuals competing for a larger share of those public funds. The rent-seeking extraction technology in the government administration is modeled as in Murphy et al. (1991) and incorporated in an otherwise standard Real-Business-Cycle (RBC) framework with public sector. The model is calibrated to German data for the period 1970-2007. The main findings are: (i) Due to the existence of a significant pub- lic sector wage premium and the high public sector employment, a substantial amount of working time is spent rent-seeking, which in turn leads to significant losses in terms of output; (ii) The measures for the rent-seeking cost obtained from the model for the major EU countries are highly-correlated to indices of bureaucratic inefficiency; (iii) Under the optimal fiscal policy regime,steady-state rent-seeking is smaller relative to the exogenous policy case, as the government chooses a higher public wage premium, but sets a much lower public employment, thus achieving a decrease in rent-seeking.

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  • Aleksandar Vasilev, 2013. "On the cost of rent-seeking by government bureaucrats in a Real-Business-Cycle framework," Working Papers 2013_20, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  • Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2013_20
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rent-seeking; bureaucracy; public employment; government wages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E69 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Other
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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