citizenship rent

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bethemasterofenglish

Senior Member
Japanese
Hello,

The following is from Financial Times.

"For much of the 19th and 20th centuries, the rise in average incomes per head in today’s high-income countries outpaced that in the rest of the world. One’s position in the global distribution of income came increasingly to depend not on what one did but on where one did it. Milanovic calls this advantage of being British rather than, say, Kenyan “citizenship rent”. In recent times, this rent has fallen, but only a little. Today, one’s living standard depends a little more on what one does and a little less on where one does it."

Then, what does the words "citizenship rent" mean?
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Milanovic calls this advantage of being British rather than, say, Kenyan “citizenship rent”.
    The name that Milanovic gives this advantage that one gets by being British rather than, say, Kenyan, is “citizenship rent”.

    It seems to mean that the higher income one is likely to enjoy for doing the same work in, for example, Britain, as opposed to Kenya is a form of "rent" paid to the citizens of a country by its economy.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Rent is a particular concept in economics (see here, here). It shares its name with the "rent" we pay to an owner for the temporary use of something, but the two concepts are otherwise more or less unrelated. A very short definition of rent is "money received for nonproductive action." Here, the author is saying that people derive a natural benefit from the citizenship of their country, without having to contribute or produce anything in exchange for it.
     
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