Established Clergy, Friars and the Pope: Some Institutional Economics of the Medieval Church
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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Volume (Year): 153 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
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