The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Armen A. Alchian
Reference work entry


‘Rent’ is the payment for use of a resource, whether it be land, labour, equipment, ideas, or even money. The term is often restricted to payment for use of land or equipment. ‘Economic rent’ is payment for use of any resource whose supply is fixed. Rent serves a social purpose because market levels of rent indicate which uses of fixed resources are the highest valued, and direct such resources to those uses. ‘Monopoly rent’ is paid to producers in markets that are artificially restricted; it may be dissipated by ‘rent seekers’ who compete for monopoly status.


Composite quasi-rent Differential rents Economic rent Land Land tax Marshall, A. Monopoly rents Producer surplus Quasi-rent Rent Rent seeking Ricardian rents Ricardo, D 

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  1. Marshall, A. 1890. Principles of economics. 1st ed. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Marshall, A. 1920. Principles of economics. 8th ed. London: Macmillan. reprinted, 1946.Google Scholar
  3. Ricardo, D. 1821. Principles of political economy and taxation. 3rd ed, 1965. London: Dent Dutton.Google Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Armen A. Alchian
    • 1
  1. 1.