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The Role of Rents in the Transition from Socialist Redistributive Economies to Market Capitalism

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For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

In this paper the authors make a critical distinction between inequalities arising from profits and wages and inequalities arising from rents, following Sorensen and 19th century economist Ricardo. Their new contribution is to articulate how rents are especially important in post-communist capitalist transition. Without the concept of rents, the mechanisms of corruption cannot be understood. The authors identify three types of rent-seeking behavior, which can be observed in any capitalist country, that play a particularly important role in post-communist transition: (i) market capture by political elites; (ii) state capture by oligarchs; (iii) capture of oligarchs by autocratic rulers through selective criminalization and the redistribution of their wealth to loyal new rich.

Affiliations: 1: Corvinus University of BudapestHungary peter@mihalyi.com ; 2: Yale University New HavenUSA ivan.szelenyi@yale.edu

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/content/journals/10.1163/15691330-12341419
2017-02-13
2017-06-24

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