The Economics of Religious Indulgences
AbstractWe model the Catholic Church as a heterogeneous club managed by a specialized agency that pursues the enlargement of the club within given constraints. Religious indulgences induce the self selection of members, based on their attitudes towards risk. Highly risk-averse members do not relax their moral behaviour even if indulgences are available. Less risk-averse members prefer indulgences, but their availabiltiy is beneficial to the Church. In fiscal and criminal law there are institutions (amnesties) that parallel religious indulgences: here, too, a derogation from a general rule may be justified on the grounds of efficiency.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.
Volume (Year): 155 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
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- Nuno Garoupa & Pedro Pita Barros, 2001.
"An economic theory of church strictness,"
Economics Working Papers
563, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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