I have just learned that the "father of rent seeking," 86-year-old Gordon Tullock, professor of economics and law at George Mason, suddenly decided a couple of weeks ago to retire, and has done so, moving to Arizona to live with his sister. Many readers and contributors to this blog probably do not think much of Tullock, given his quite strongly pro-free market orientation. However, he has been one of the more interesting characters in economics in recent years, who has arguably not received his proper due. In particular, James Buchanan received the Nobel Prize about 20 years ago for discovering/inventing public choice theory, with his 1960 book, _The Calculus of Consent_, being the source for this that was cited. There was a minor problem: Gordon Tullock was coauthor of that book and did not share the prize, although he was the founder and longtime editor of the journal Public Choice. (Rumor has it that the Nobel Committee had Richard Musgrave in mind to share it with Buchanan, but never gave it to him, and he is now dead, with Tullock somehow not even on their radar screen. Probably all three should have shared it, although many here probably think that neither Buchanan nor Tullock deserve(d) it).
Tullock may still get the prize, and has been high on some betting pools in recent years. He would get it for his discovery/invention of the concept of "rent seeking," although Anne Krueger invented the term some years later. Concern with corruption might lead to an award for this idea, that interest groups get governments to create artificial monopolies that create scarcity rents that can often get taken by those interest groups, often through bribery or corruption. Tullock's original paper on the matter was "The welfare costs of tariffs, monopolies, and theft," Western Economic Journal (now Economic Inquiry), 1967, 5: 224-232. I also note that some think he will not get the prize because he is very curmudgeonly, long showing his respect for somebody by insulting them. If he did not think much of someone, he simply ignores them.