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Elites, Rent-Cycling and Development: Adjustment to Land Scarcity in Mauritius, Kenya and Côte d'Ivoire

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According to rent-cycling theory, low rent aligns the interests of the elite and the majority in providing public goods and efficiency incentives to promote economic growth, while high rent risks deflecting the elite into self-enriching rent deployment, which distorts the economy and triggers a collapse from which recovery is protracted because rent recipients resist reform. The theory also predicts, however, that this collapse will self-correct by shrinking per capita rent, which strengthens incentives for wealth creation. This article tests the prediction in Mauritius, Kenya and Côte d'Ivoire where intensifying land scarcity has shrunk per capita rent; Mauritius meets the prediction, but Kenya and Côte d'Ivoire do not.
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Keywords: Elites; land scarcity; rent-cycling

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Professor, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YB ( )., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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