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Rent-seeking in an emerging market: A DSGE approach

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2021-04-01
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Due to the fact that rent-seeking is by definition an unobservable variable, measuring its size and evolution over the business cycle can be a daunting challenge. In this article, by embedding rentseeking behavior in an otherwise standard open-economy DSGE model, we are able to derive a quarterly time series of this variable (expressed as a percentage deviation from the trend) for an emerging economy such as Brazil. The estimated series, spanning the period 2002Q1􀀀 2017Q4, shows a strong positive correlation with the “Commodity Super Cycle” of the 2000 decade and falls as a result of some political scandals and their ensuing investigations, among other driving forces. We also rely on the same model to assess how several shocks hitting the economy affect both rent-seeking and the relevant macroeconomic variables in our model. Barring monetary expansions, increased exports and higher income transfers to households, expansionary shocks are associated with lower rent-seeking activity. Factoring in these two sets of results, the upshot is that rent-seeking behavior shows a pattern of procyclicality in the Brazilian economy.
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Financial support by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities through grant ECO2017-86780-R (AEI/FEDER, UE) is gratefully acknowledged.
Proyectos de investigación FECYT -- PROPUESTAS DE MEJORA PARA LA ECONOMIA ESPAÑOLA: DESEMPLEO, EMPA...
Bibliographic reference
Economic Systems 45 (2021) 100775
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