What Causes Rent-Seeking?

us capitol dome
A bit of pith, courtesy of James Buchanan in his excellent rent-seeking primer, “Rent Seeking and Profit Seeking,” which can be found in pages 103-115 of the first volume of his collected works, The Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty (the quote is on p. 109):

Rent-seeking activity is directly related to the scope and range of governmental activity in the economy, to the relative size of the public sector.

Or, as the bank robber Willie Sutton supposedly put it even more pithily, “that’s where the money is.”

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