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 17: Litigation as rent seeking

Francesco Parisi and Barbara Luppi

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


Litigation aims at resolving conflicts. We survey the law and economics literature on litigation to illustrate the scope of application of rent-seeking models and their analytical power in the study of law and procedural issues of litigation, including applications in adversarial and inquisitorial procedures, fee-shifting, consolidation and bifurcation of trials and tort liability. We present a unified model of rent seeking, recasting the various perspectives in the literature, to illustrate the power of rent-seeking models in addressing different dimensions of substantive and procedural legal problems.

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