The Place of Rent-Seeking and Corruption in Varieties of Capitalism Models

  • Péter MihályiEmail author
  • Iván Szelényi
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


We make a critical distinction between inequalities arising from profits and wages on the one hand and inequalities arising from rents on the other. Arguably, if rent-seeking exceeds profit-seeking, it creates legitimation problems for market capitalism and may lead to economic stagnation or even state collapse. We identify three types of rent-seeking behavior which can be observed in any capitalist country, but they play a particularly important role in post-communist transition: (i) market capture by political elites; (ii) state capture by oligarchs; and (iii) capture of oligarchs by autocratic rulers through selective criminalization and the redistribution of their wealth to loyal new rich.


Rent-seeking Ricardo’s concept of scarcity rent Inequalities Post-communist transition Corruption 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MacroeconomicsCorvinus University of BudapestBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Hungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary
  3. 3.Yale University (retired)New HavenUSA

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