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In common usage, payment made in return for the right to use property belonging to another. In classical economics, rent was the income gained from cultivated or improved land after the deduction of all production costs. In modern economic usage, rent is the difference between the total return to a factor of production (land, labour, capital) and its supply price, the minimum amount necessary to attain its services. Rent plus opportunity cost make up the total income paid to a productive resource. Efforts made by a resource owner to obtain monopoly profit is considered rent-seeking behaviour.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on rent, visit Britannica.com.