The Economics of Special Privilege and Rent Seeking

  • Gordon┬áTullock

Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 5)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Why is the Rent-Seeking Industry so Small?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Gordon Tullock
      Pages 3-9
    3. Gordon Tullock
      Pages 11-27
  3. Random Thoughts on Rent Seeking

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 47-47
    2. Gordon Tullock
      Pages 49-57
    3. Gordon Tullock
      Pages 59-66
    4. Gordon Tullock
      Pages 73-77
    5. Gordon Tullock
      Pages 79-89
    6. Gordon Tullock
      Pages 91-98
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 99-104

About this book


As the reader of this book probably already knows, I have devoted a great deal of time to the topic which is, rather unfortunately, named rent seeking. Rent seeking, the use of resources in actually lowering total product although benefiting some minority, is, unfortunately, a major activity of most governments. As a result of this, I have stumbled on a puzzle. The rent-seeking activity found in major societies is immense, but the industry devoted to producing it is nowhere near as immense. In Washington the rent-seeking industry is a very conspicuous part of the landscape. On the other hand, if you consider how much money is being moved by that industry, then it is comparatively small. The first question that this book seeks to answer is: How do we account for the disparity? A second problem is that almost all rent seeking is done in what superficially appears to be an extremely inefficient way. I recently got estimates of the net cost to the public of the farm program and its net benefit to the farmers. The first is many times the second. Indeed, it is not at all obvious that in the long run, today's farmers are better off than they would be if the program had never been implemented. Of course, in any given year, cancelling the program would be quite painful. The first section of this book, then, is devoted to this problem.


Nash equilibrium economics equilibrium minority public goods tax reform

Authors and affiliations

  • Gordon┬áTullock
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ArizonaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1989
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-5779-2
  • Online ISBN 978-94-015-7813-4
  • Series Print ISSN 0924-4700
  • Buy this book on publisher's site