IZA DP No. 2391: Firm Size, Economic Situation and Influence Activities
This paper discusses the optimal firm size in the presence of influence activities, and the level of individual rent-seeking dependent on the economic situation of the firm. Since firm size has a discouraging effect on the level of individual rent-seeking but also a quantity effect as the number of rent-seekers increases, the interplay of both effects determines whether the employer chooses an inefficiently small or large firm size. In the given setting, a bad economic situation leads to both a higher probability of a substantial loss and a reduction of productivity. The productivity effect and the two other effects together determine the optimal level of individual rent-seeking.