Rent-Seeking Versus Directly Unproductive Profit-Seeking Activities

  • Charles K. Rowley
Part of the Topics in Regulatory Economics and Policy book series (TREP, volume 1)


The rent-seeking literature and the literature on directly unproductive profit-seeking (DUP) activities both focus attention upon individual or group economic behavior of a rational, solipsist nature which nevertheless destroys rather than enhances the resources available to society. As such, both contributions have radically changed our understanding of the positive behavior of political and bureaucratic markets and have shifted many of our views on normative politcal economy. Yet the two approaches differ significantly in important respects, not least in terms of their coherence within the broader framework of public choice.


Public Choice Welfare Economic Welfare Loss Monopoly Power Trade Protection 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bhagwati, J.N. “On the Equivalence of Tariffs and Quotas.” In: R.E. Caves; P. Kenen; and H. G. Johnson, (eds.), Trade, Growth and the Balance of Payments. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1965.Google Scholar
  2. Bhagwati, J. N., and Srinivasan, T. N. “Revenue Seeking: A Generalization of the Theory of Tariffs.” Journal of Political Economy no. 61, 88 (1980): 1069–87.Google Scholar
  3. Bhagwati, J.N.; Brecher, R.A.; and Srinivansan, T.N. “DUP Activities and Economic Theory.” In: D.C. Colander (ed.), Neoclassical Political Economy. Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1984.Google Scholar
  4. Brennan, H. G. “Pareto Desirable Redistribution: The case of Malice and Envy.” Journal of Public Economics, no. 2 (April, 1973 ): 173–84.Google Scholar
  5. Buchanan, J.M., and Tullock, G. The Calculus of Consent. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1962.Google Scholar
  6. Buchanan, J. M. Cost and Choice. Markham, 1969.Google Scholar
  7. Buchanan, J. M. “Reform in the Rent-Seeking Society.” In: J. M. Buchanan, R. D. Tollison; and G. Tullock (eds.), Toward a Theory of the Rent-Seeking Society. College Station: Texas A and M University Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  8. Crew, M. A.; Jones-Lee, M.; and Rowley, C. K. “X-Theory Versus Management Discretion Theory.” Southern Economic Journal, no. 2, 38 (October, 1971 ): 173–84.Google Scholar
  9. Colander, D. C. “Introduction” to D.C. Colander (ed.), Neoclassical Political Economy. Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1984.Google Scholar
  10. Krueger, A. O. “The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society.” American Economic Review 64, (June, 1974 ): 291–303.Google Scholar
  11. Leibenstein, H. “Allocative Efficiency vs. X-Efficiency.” American Economic Review (June, 1966 ).Google Scholar
  12. Magee, S. P. “Endogenous Tariff Theory: A Survey.” In: D.C. Colander (ed.), Neoclassical Political Economy. Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1984.Google Scholar
  13. Mundell, R. “Review of Jannsen, Free Trade, Protection and Customs Union.” American Economic Review, no. 52 (June, 1962 ): 622.Google Scholar
  14. Ng, P. “The Social Loss to X-Inefficiency.” Economica (1972).Google Scholar
  15. North, D.C. “Three Approaches to the Study of Institutions.” In D.C. Colander (ed.) Neoclassical Political Economy. Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1984.Google Scholar
  16. North, D.C. “The New Institutional Economics.” Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, no. 1, 142 (March, 1986 ).Google Scholar
  17. Rowley, C. K. Antritrust and Economic Efficiency New York: Macmillan, 1973. Rowley, C.K., and Tollison, R.D. “Rent-Seeking and Trade Protection.” (This volume).Google Scholar
  18. Rowley, C. K., and Peacock, A. T. Welfare Economics: A Liberal Restatement. Martin Robertson, 1975.Google Scholar
  19. Rowley, C.K. “Rent Seeking in Constitutional Perspective.” (This volume). Rowley, C. K. “The Law of Property in a Virginia School Perspective.” Washington Law Quarterly Journal, forthcoming (1987).Google Scholar
  20. Samuels W. J., and Mercuro, N. “Posner and the Efficiency of the Common Law.” International Review of Law and Economics, no. 1, 6 (1986).Google Scholar
  21. Samuels, W. J., and Mercuro, N. “A Critique of Rent-Seeking Theory.” In: D. C. Colander (ed.), Neoclassical Political Economy. Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1984.Google Scholar
  22. Stigler, G.J. “The x-istence of x-Efficiency.” American Economic Review (1976). Tullock, G. Welfare Costs of Tariffs, Monopolies and Theft.“ Western Economic Journal 5 (June, 1967 ): 224–32.Google Scholar
  23. Tullock, G. “The Cost of Transers.” Kyklos 4 (December, 1971): 629–43. Wagner, R.E. “Parchment, Guns and the Maintenance of ConstitutionalGoogle Scholar
  24. Contract.“ In C.K. Rowley (ed.). Democracy and Public Choice. Basil Blackwell, 1987.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles K. Rowley

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations