Rents and Rent-Seeking

  • Gordon Tullock
Part of the Topics in Regulatory Economics and Policy book series (TREP, volume 1)


Rents are a perfectly good economic category and there is absolutely nothing in general against seeking them. If I were to invent and patent a cure for cancer and then became extremely wealthy by claiming rents on the patent, most people would regard me as a public benefactor. Nevertheless, “rent-seeking” is regarded as an unadulterated evil. The reason of course is the type of rent. The rents that attract rent-seeking waste resources in static models. In dynamic settings, their injury to society is even greater. The purpose of this essay is to clearly distinguish between what we may call “good rents” and “bad rent-seeking”.


Cost Curve Potential Entrant Cable Television Cable Network Pecuniary Externality 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon Tullock

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