In this paper, governments maximize their political support, obtained by creating wealth and also by creating rent. Starting from a support maximum, economic reforms are feasible only when combined with political reforms that make the economic changes support-increasing. A competitive economy with low rent seeking and low protectionism maximizes support only when inclusiveness, as defined here, is high. When support is maximized, political stability depends on the sensitivity of support to changes in rent and wealth, and the quest for support causes inclusiveness to change. Depending on comparative political advantage, it can become either the road to serfdom or the road to an inclusive society. The approach here contrasts with selectorate theory in which political advantage depends on the size of a ‘winning coalition.’

Additional Metadata
Keywords Rent Seeking, inclusiveness, political support, economic/political linkage, comparative political advantage.
JEL Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior (jel D72), Public Economics: General (jel H00), Structure and Scope of Government: Other (jel H19)
Publisher Department of Economics
Series Carleton Economic Papers (CEP)
Note Revised 17 August 2017 and many times before; formerly titled “On Rent Seeking and Inclusiveness
Carson, R. L. (2009). Inclusiveness and the Exchange of Political Support for Rent (No. CEP 09-05). Carleton Economic Papers (CEP). Department of Economics.