Table of Contents

Companion to the Political Economy of Rent Seeking

Companion to the Political Economy of Rent Seeking

Edited by Roger D. Congleton and Arye L. Hillman

The quest for benefit from existing wealth or by seeking privileged benefit through influence over policy is known as rent seeking. Much rent seeking activity involves government and political decisions and is therefore in the domain of political economy, although it can also take place in personal relations and within firms and bureaucracies. Rent seeking, which involves the unproductive use of resources, is however primarily associated with policies that create rents as well as rent extraction or political benefit for the creators of rents. The contributions in this outstanding volume provide an accompaniment or “companion” to the literature on rent seeking and the related political economy of rent creation and extraction. The chapters, written by leading scholars in the field, demonstrate the centrality of rent-related incentives to the study of economics, politics, culture, public administration and history.

Chapter 9: Sabotage in contests

J. Atsu Amegashie

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, public choice theory, politics and public policy, political economy, public choice

Extract

This chapter reviews the literature on sabotage in contests. In such cases, contenders expend resources in contests to hinder or impede the efforts of other contenders. Resources used in sabotage are wastefully used and add to the resources used unproductively by rent seekers to win a rent. The theory of sabotage in contests is more general than rent seeking and includes any contest in which the opportunity is available to impede competitors. A basic feature of sabotage is that if there are more than two contenders in a contest, resources used by any one contender to sabotage any other contender have attributes of public-good benefits for other contenders. The review in this chapter encompasses the formal game-theoretic, empirical and experimental literature. The formal model is in the chapter Appendix.

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