Should the Catholic Church abolish the rule of Celibacy?
AbstractSince the Middle Ages, celibacy has been a requirement for those becoming priests in the Roman Catholic Church. In the ongoing discussions about reforms, a wide range of church members have asked for the abolishment of the celibacy requirement in order to meet the changed social and moral standards of believers and to increase the quality and quantity of priests. However, this paper shows that from a strategic point of view, there are good reasons for the Catholic Church to keep, or even to increase, the role of celibacy for its priests. Using celibacy as a resource selection device, it allows the church to credibly signal its religious orientation to believers. Based on a game theoretic model, this paper analyzes the optimal use of celibacy in the market for religious services. Additionally, we discuss the relevant impacts of higher income levels, higher opportunity costs, increased aging and changed moral standards relating to homosexuality.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU) in its series Working Papers with number 0115.
Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Religion; celibacy; strategic resource selection;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-11-14 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ekelund, Robert B. & Hebert, Robert F. & Tollison, Robert D. & Anderson, Gary M. & Davidson, Audrey B., 1997. "Sacred Trust: The Medieval Church as an Economic Firm," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195103373.
- Eli Berman, 1998.
"Sect, Subsidy, and Sacrifice: An Economist's View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews,"
NBER Working Papers
6715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eli Berman, 2000. "Sect, Subsidy, And Sacrifice: An Economist'S View Of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 905-953, August.
- Azzi, Corry & Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1975. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 27-56, February.
- Guido Heineck, 2001. "The Determinants of Church Attendance and Religious Human Capital in Germany: Evidence from Panel Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 263, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Why the Catholic Church should not abolish celibacy for priests
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-12-22 15:56:00
- Gastbeitrag:Keusch und reichWarum die katholische Kirche am ZÃ¶libat festhÃ¤lt
by Johannes Eber in Wirtschaftliche Freiheit on 2010-04-01 23:01:51
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Leif Brandes).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.