Would you indulge me? I've come across this term, a lot, and I have a hard time understanding it. Who is seeing rent from whom, and for what? I sense it is some sort of term with a wide inclusion, but it keeps eluding me.
Rent seeking behavior is a technical term from economics and political science. It refers to using government power to increase your income beyond what your products or services would command in a free market. Examples include:
Rent-seeking is what crony capitalists are after, and granting such as the above is how politicians buy their support.
The word rent here refers to economic rent, as opposed to ordinary rent (contract rent). Economic rent is defined as
a payment to a factor of production in excess of that which is needed to keep it employed in its current use.
Thanks. You gave me new vocabulary to describe the grant-grubbing academics I so despise.