Chapter 5: Asymmetries in rent seeking
In rent-seeking contests, players are seldom identical. In this chapter, we review the rent-seeking literature that explores the effects of forms of asymmetry between contestants. We consider Tullock’s rent-seeking contests involving two players who differ in strength (marginal returns to effort), motivation (valuations of the sought-after rent) and cunning (bargaining power). The combined interaction of these three forms of asymmetry in rent seeking are described. We examine how these asymmetries affect the rent-seeking contest and investigate the effect of ex post trading opportunities on the players’ efforts and probabilities of winning and on the social costs of rent seeking.
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