06 November 2011

New phrase alert

Actually, it is an old phrase but one I only heard for the first time a few years ago and still find interesting. It economically implies a host of things economic.

And political. From Wikipedia:

The simplest definition of rent-seeking is the expenditure of resources attempting to enrich oneself by increasing one's share of a fixed amount of wealth rather than trying to create wealth. Since resources are expended but no new wealth is created, the net effect of rent-seeking is to reduce the sum of social wealth.

Rent-seeking generally implies the extraction of uncompensated value from others without making any contribution to productivity. The origin of the term refers to the gaining control of land or other pre-existing natural resources. In the modern economy, a more common example of rent-seeking is political lobbying to receive a government transfer payment, or to impose burdensome regulations on one's competitors in order to increase one's market share


Of course, it is more complex than this. Much more complex than poor Clemens can figure out. So I think I will go lay down to think about it.

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