Companion to the Political Economy of Rent Seeking
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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.
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Chapter 23: Market liberalization and rent seeking in India

Sugata Marjit and Vivekananda Mukherjee

Extract

This chapter shows the relevance of rents and rent seeking in post-independence India, where market-oriented reforms have substantially reduced government control over economic activities. Despite the significant economic reforms, rent seeking and corruption have been prevalent. The chapter reviews the research on rent seeking and corruption in India and outlines a theory relating rent seeking to economic reforms. Liberal and conservative economic policies are endogenous in such a framework. We also discuss other possible relationships between reforms and rent seeking in the context of an emerging market.

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