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- payments (in money or in kind) made to the owner or controller of property for its use. Historically, in preindustrial societies, rent paid and received for LAND has been of major importance, e.g. under the FEUDAL MODE OF PRODUCTION. In MARXIAN ECONOMICS, with reference to situations where rent for land is levied in a context in which market relations exist, two main forms of rent are recognized:
- absolute rent, the basic level of rent; and
- differential rent, the extra rent obtained from land of higher than average productivity (not including any return on additional CAPITAL invested in improving the land).
Debate has existed (e.g. Hindess and Hirst, 1975) as to whether taxes on peasant production levied by the state constitute a fundamentally different MODE OF PRODUCTION (see also ASIATIC MODE OF PRODUCTION) from the forms of rent' that emerged in Western Europe, or whether the ‘tax-rent’ couple constitute a single mode of production. For some Marxists, the attraction of the latter view is that the idea of a single developmental sequence of modes of production can be preserved.
- (ECONOMICS) rent or quasi-rent, any payment, or part payment, made for a FACTOR OF PRODUCTION, including human labour, which derives from an absolute shortage of supply (e.g. the fixed supply of land, inherent limitations in the supply of ‘talent’, outstanding musical or sporting abilities). Compare FUNCTIONALIST THEORY OF SOCIAL STRATIFICATION.