Stages of Rent-Seeking Under Post-communism

  • Péter MihályiEmail author
  • Iván Szelényi


Re-feudalization or patrimonial capitalism can have a political consequence: the illiberal state, as Russia and China illustrate. Given the specific historical and geographical circumstances, as well as the variations in cultural traditions, Mihályi and Szelényi distinguish three different rent-seeking mechanisms under post-communism as times changed since 1989: market capture by political elites, state capture by oligarchs, and capture of oligarchs by autocratic rulers. The last mechanism is particularly controversial and very difficult to judge from a moral/ethical standpoint because of the widespread practice of selective criminalization of the real or potential enemies of the autocratic rulers. The Putin–Khodorkovsky war put into the limelight a particular nature of the Russian post-communist economy: its strong dependence on world market rents earned from the export of gas and oil.


Market capture State capture Oligarchs Natural resource rents Autocratic rulers Russia China Poland Hungary 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MacroeconomicsCorvinus University of BudapestBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Central European UniversityBudapestHungary
  3. 3.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.New York UniversityAbu DhabiUAE

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