The Korean Economic Forum
Evolution of Rent-Seeking Theory and Its Application to the North Korean Political Economy
Suehyun Jung (The Presidential Commission on Policy Planning)Year 2022Vol. 15No. 1
The rent-seeking theory has evolved beyond public choice and is now conceived as a useful tool for explaining the collusion between politics and the economy in development economics, transition economics, political economy of authoritarian regimes (dictatorship), and corruption studies. This article argues that it can also be useful to consider rent-seeking theory in order to analyze and suggest possible outlooks for the North Korean political economy. First, it presents definitions of rent and rent-seeking that is applicable to the North Korean political economy. Second, it discusses changes in the sources of rent and rent-seeking dynamics including “competitive rent-seeking” with the spread of market mechanism as well as new perspectives on rent-seeking relative to social welfare and economic growth in the North Korean political economy.