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Established Clergy, Friars and the Pope: Some Institutional Economics of the Medieval Church

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  • Dieter Schmidtchen
  • Achim Mayer
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    Abstract

    The medieval Church is viewed as a franchise system. The paper analyzes the licensing of the friars as an institutional innovation which the popes of the 13th century initiated in order to appropriate the rents made possible both by the systematic development of the concept of purgatory and the introduction of resale price maintenance for indulgencies and penances. Using a game theoretic approach it can be shown that this institutional change forms a subgame perfect equilibrium. Historical evidence supports the predictions generated by the model.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

    Volume (Year): 153 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 122-

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    Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(199703)153:1_122:ecfatp_2.0.tx_2-t

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    Postal: Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG, P.O.Box 2040, 72010 Tübingen, Germany
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    Cited by:
    1. 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.
    2. Nuno Garoupa & Pedro Pita Barros, 2001. "An economic theory of church strictness," Economics Working Papers 563, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    3. Benito Arruñada, 2003. "Specialization and rent-seeking in moral enforcement: The case of confession," Economics Working Papers 653, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2009.
    4. Benito Arrunada, . "Catholic Confessions of Sin as Third Party Moral Enforcement," Gruter Institute Working Papers on Law, Economics, and Evolutionary Biology 3-1-1013, Berkeley Electronic Press.

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