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Efficient Rent-Seeking

Chronicle of an Intellectual Quagmire

Editors: Lockard, Alan, Tullock, Gordon (Eds.)

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About this book

Some time ago one of the editors (Gordon Tullock) stumbled on a paradox in the competition for rents. He asked a previous research assistant (William Hunter) to work out some examples and gave a seminar on it. For reasons he cannot recall (but probably bad) he titled his talk `Efficient Rent Seeking'. As Editor of Public Choice he was able to publish without a referee. Incidentally, The Journal of Political Economy had turned it down on the grounds that the economy could not be that chaotic, and hence there must be something wrong even if the referee couldn't put his finger on it.
There followed a long series of articles, mainly in Public Choice, in which various distinguished scholars proposed solutions to the paradox. The editor responded by finding fault with these solutions. In this case the editor was arguing against interest. He, like the referee for the JPE, believed that the market works, if not perfectly, at least very well. Nevertheless, the paradox resisted and persisted. It was like the paradox of the liar, and indeed in some cases did show exactly that paradox.
Eventually everyone, including the editor, grew tired of the matter and the discussion sort of wound down, although it could not be said that it was either solved or even abated. It also began to appear that it had a much larger scope than just competitive rent seeking. Any contest for wealth, privilege, or prestige in which the chances of winning were affected by the investment of the contestants would appear to be subject to the same problem. The sum of the investments in equilibrium might be much less than the prize or much more. It depended on the structure of the contest, but the range of structures seemed to include almost all economic competition. Clearly, from the standpoint of economics, this was a distressing conclusion. Perhaps the whole vast structure of economic analysis rested on faulty foundations.
Speaking frankly, neither of the editors thinks the situation is that desperate. We feel that there is a logical solution, even if we do not know what it is. The purpose of this volume is to attempt to get economists to turn to the problem and, hopefully, solve the paradox. We present here a substantial portion of the literature on the matter. We hope that the readers will be stimulated to think about the problem and, even more, we hope they will be able to solve it.

Table of contents (36 chapters)

Table of contents (36 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $189.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4757-5055-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $249.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-0-7923-7242-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $249.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-4866-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Efficient Rent-Seeking
Book Subtitle
Chronicle of an Intellectual Quagmire
Editors
  • Alan Lockard
  • Gordon Tullock
Copyright
2001
Publisher
Springer US
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media New York
eBook ISBN
978-1-4757-5055-3
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4757-5055-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-7923-7242-4
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4419-4866-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 408
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics