What is Monopoly Rent?

Executive Summary

  • Unearned income used to be an area of study of economics, but it was eliminated as economics was taken over by elite interest.


The history of rent seeking is explained in the following quotation.

“This concept of income without labor – but simply from privileges that had been made hereditary – was extended to the ideas of monopolies like the East India Company and other trade monopolies. They could produce or buy goods for, let’s say, a dollar a unit, and sell them for whatever the market will bear – say, $4.00. The markup is “empty pricing.” It’s pure price gouging by a natural monopoly, like today’s drug companies.

To prevent such price gouging and to keep economies competitive with low costs of living and doing business, Europe kept the most important natural monopolies in the public domain: the post office, the BBC and other state broadcasting companies, roads, and basic transportation, as well as early national airlines. European governments prevented monopoly rent by providing basic infrastructure services at cost, or even at subsidized prices or freely in the case of roads. The guiding idea is for public infrastructure – which you should think of as a factor of production along with labor and capital – was to lower the cost of living and doing business.” – Michael Hudson / Evonomics

Source: Evonomics