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The Economics of Religious Indulgences

Author

Listed:
  • Alberto Cassone
  • Carla Marchese

Abstract

We 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Cassone & Carla Marchese, 1999. "The Economics of Religious Indulgences," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(3), pages 429-429, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(199909)155:3_429:teori_2.0.tx_2-k
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    Cited by:

    1. Doru Cojoc & Adrian Stoian, 2014. "Dishonesty and charitable behavior," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(4), pages 717-732, December.
    2. Pedro Pita Barros & Nuno Garoupa, 2002. "An Economic Theory Of Church Strictness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 559-576, July.

    More about this item

    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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