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Prices versus quantities with distributional rent seeking

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Abstract

This article investigates prices versus quantities when regulation generates contestable rents. A two-stage process is outlined where, in stage one, a politician selects a policy level in the presence of uncertainty. In stage two, players invest in distributional rent seeking, i.e., rent-capturing activities to obtain the rents generated from regulation. A clear distinction is derived between prices, revenue-raising quantities as well as non-revenue-raising quantities. The politician’s payoff as well as equilibrium policy level are compared within a number of institutional environments, which take into account the politician’s preferences over rent-seeking transfers and social welfare. A key determinant is the interaction between the efficiency of rent transfer and the composition of rent seekers within the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian A. MacKenzie, 2015. "Prices versus quantities with distributional rent seeking," Discussion Papers Series 548, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:548
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    prices; quantities; rent seeking;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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