Rent Seeking and Government-Business Relations in Contemporary China



The emergence of a market economy in China has been a central focus of research in the past two decades. It has been widely acknowledged that the “market” in China and the corresponding government-business relations operate in quite a different way compared with that of the West. One major departure is the widespread practice of rent seeking in China. Yet, little is known about precisely what accounts for its occurrence and, more importantly, how it shapes political and economic exchanges. In particular, there has been a dearth of evidence on differences in rent-seeking activities across economic sectors and localities. This paper aims to go beyond the narrow concern about the economic consequence of rent seeking by outlining the multiple facets of rent production from the creation, allocation, to the pursuit of rents, and the wide range of politico-economic processes inherent in rent operation in China.
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The Business History Seminar has been made possible by financial support from the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) and the Vereniging Trustfonds Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
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Abe de Jong Ben Wubs
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