Is Economic Rent (Adam Smith) and Fictitious Capital (Karl Marx) the Same Thing?

This is really a question or inquiry from me. I’m not an economist. Both of these terms are new to me.

Adam Smith spoke about Economic Rent.


Rent-seeking is an individual’s or entity’s use of company, organizational or individual resources to obtain economic gain without reciprocating any benefits to society through wealth creation.

As defined by Adam Smith

Having said that, Karl Marx wrote about Fictitious Capital.


Fictitious Capital is value, in the form of credit, shares, debt, speculation and various forms of paper money, above and beyond what can be realised in the form of commodities.

As defined by Karl Marx

At first glance it looks to me like they’re assigning different names to essentially the same thing.

The basic idea is wealth is generated through production. We grow stuff. We dig stuff up. We make stuff. This creates wealth.

Making money thru ownership, which is rents (the rent of land, dividends paid on owned stock, or interest paid on owned bonds, etc) is not adding to the production of anything and actually removes value from an economy.

Adam Smith observed that it takes 3 things to create wealth. Land, capital, and labor. He argued that capital and labor make a real contribution to production, and that land does not.

People obtaining income thru rent did not add value to the economy. They extracted it.

Smith seemed to realize some level of rent is inherent in any economy, but he also seemed to consider excessive rent seekers to be economic parasites.

So back to my original question. Is the Adam Smith concept of Economic Rent the same as the Karl Marx concept of Ficitious Capital?

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