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Cathedral Building as an Entry-Deterring Device

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  • Brighita Bercea
  • Robert B. Ekelund
  • Robert D. Tollison

Abstract

This paper suggests that, while medieval cathedrals served many purposes and, indeed, were some of the greatest technical achievements of their time, they served a rational economic purpose as well. Protestant entry into the market for Christian religion finally materialized in the early sixteenth century. The Roman Catholic Church did not make a 'mistake' in failing to forestall entry. We argue that the Church made a conscious rational effort to do so by supplying excess capacity and particular forms of capital in medieval cathedrals. While the attempt to forestall entry was ultimately unsuccessful, the extent of cathedral building helps explain why some areas of Europe remained Catholic and alternative forms of Christianity took hold in other locales. Copyright 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Kyklos.

Volume (Year): 58 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 453-465

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Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:58:y:2005:i:4:p:453-465

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Cited by:
  1. Gilles, R.P. & Lazarova, E.A. & Ruys, P.H.M., 2008. "Stable Economic Cooperation: A Relational Approach," Discussion Paper 2008-25, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Koyama, Mark, 2010. "Evading the 'Taint of Usury': The usury prohibition as a barrier to entry," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 420-442, October.
  3. Lara Shore-Sheppard & John Ham & Serkan Ozbeklik, 2012. "Estimating Heterogeneous Take-up and Crowd-Out Responses to Current Medicaid Limits and Their Nonmarginal Expansions," Department of Economics Working Papers 2012-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.

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