Rent-Seeking and Human Capital: How the Hunt for Rents is Changing our Economic and Political Landscape explores the debates around rent seeking and contextualizes it within the capitalist economy.
It is vital that the field of economics does a better job of analyzing and making policy recommendations that reduce the opportunities and rewards for rent seeking, generating returns from the redistribution of wealth rather than wealth creation. This short and provocative book addresses the key questions: who are the rent seekers? What do they do? Where do they come from? What are the consequences of rent seeking for the broader economy? And finally, what should policymakers do about them? The chapters examine the existing literature on rent seeking, including looking at the differences between rent seeking, economic rent and unproductive labor. The work provides an in-depth look at the case of the impact of rent seeking degrees in the US, particularly Business and Law, and explores potential policy remedies such as a wealth tax or changes to the rules on financial transactions and patents.
This text provides an important intervention on rent-seeking for students and scholars of heterodox economics, political economy, inequality, and anyone interested in the shape of the modern capitalist economy.
Table of Contents
1. A Primer on Inequality
2. Landlords, Rents and Seekers
3. Rent Seeking, Examples of Wasted Resources
4. Education and the Allocation of Talent
5. The Politics of Removing Rents
Kurt von Seekamm Jr. is Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Salem State University, USA.