May 1, 2014

Crony Capitalism: Rent Seeking, Institutions and Ideology

  • Paul Dragos Aligica

    Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Vlad Tarko

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This paper elaborates the notion of “crony capitalism” and advances an innovative approach to the analysis of the phenomenon in case, seen as a type of rent-seeking society. The argument leads to a pioneering attempt to elaborate an original theory of crony capitalism as a sui generis system and with that end in view it combines three complementary perspectives: microeconomics (dealing with the basic economics of rent-seeking), institutional or structural (dealing with the specific structures and configurations of institutions, policies and processes via which rent seeking gets materialized), and ideological (dealing with the ideas, rhetoric, beliefs, doctrines and other forms of legitimization and justification of the specific policies and institutions). The paper identifies significant functional differences between crony capitalism in high-income and developing countries and advances a novel interpretation of the special nature of crony capitalism by focusing on the distinctive features of its ideological component.

Find the article at Wiley Online Library.