Rent Seeking

In economics, “rents” are benefits created by the government. In this video, Professor Michael Munger explains how “rent-seeking”- the competition for government benefits (such as subsidies) by special interest groups and businesses- is harmful for society.

Additional Readings and Videos

Here are recommended readings and additional videos that could be added to a syllabus or lesson plan on this topic.

Books and Articles

Michael Munger, “Rent Seek and You Will Find”
https://www.econlib.org/library/Columns/y2006/Mungerrentseeking.html

Michael DeBow, “The Ethics of Rent-Seeking?: A New Perspective on Corporate Social Responsibility” 12 Journal of Law & Commerce 1 (1992-1993).

Tyler Cowen, Amihai Glazer, and Henry McMillan, “Rent seeking can promote the provision of public goods,” Economics and Politics 6, 2 (July 1994): 131-145.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0343.1994.tb00092.x

March, Raymond and Martin, Adam G. and Redford, Audrey, The Substance of Entrepreneurship and the Entrepreneurship of Substances (May 14, 2016). Journal of Entrepreneurship & Public Policy.
https://ssrn.com/abstract=2669776 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2669776

Murphy, Kevin; Shleifer, Andrei; Vishny, Robert (1993). “Why is Rent-Seeking So Costly to Growth?”. American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings. 83 (2): 409–414.

Henderson, David. “Rent-Seeking.” Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.  https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/RentSeeki

Taylor, Jerry, and Peter Van Doren. 2011. “A Teachable Moment Courtesy of Solyndra .” https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/teachable-moment-courtesy-solyndra ng.html

Sahadi, Jeanne.  2013. “The ‘chicken poop’ credit and other bad tax breaks.” CNN. https://money.cnn.com/2013/05/24/news/economy/corporate-tax-breaks/index.html

Geiling, Natasha. 2015. “Environmentalists Want This State to Take Chicken Poop Out of Its Clean Energy Plan.” Think Progress https://thinkprogress.org/environmentalists-want-this-state-to-take-chicken-poop-out-of-its-clean-energy-plan-7af26f98ddc/