chapter  2
19 Pages

Rent seeking and the political economy of coal prices

Prices have crucially influenced the way that the state has interacted with the coal industry and managed its relationship with other sectors. This chapter examines the issues, political and economic, that surrounded reformers’ attempts to adjust, regulate or deregulate the price of coal, and analyses the interests involved. It then examines rent-seeking activities both by the coal industry and by consuming industries after prices became mainly market-determined. Although taking account of the more technical issues involved, it argues that this has inherently involved a political struggle between competing interests.