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An axiomatic analysis of the papal conclave

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  • Andrew Mackenzie

    (Maastricht University)

Abstract

In the Roman Catholic Church, the pope is elected by the (cardinal) electors through “scrutiny,” where each elector casts an anonymous nomination. Using historical documents, we argue that a guiding principle for the church has been the protection of electors from the temptation to defy God through dishonest nomination. Based on axiomatic analysis involving this principle, we recommend that the church overturn the changes of Pope Pius XII to reinstate the scrutiny of Pope Gregory XV, and argue that randomization in the case of deadlock merits consideration.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Mackenzie, 2020. "An axiomatic analysis of the papal conclave," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 69(3), pages 713-743, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:69:y:2020:i:3:d:10.1007_s00199-019-01180-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-019-01180-0
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    Cited by:

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    3. Mathieu Martin & Zéphirin Nganmeni & Ashley Piggins & Élise F. Tchouante, 2022. "Pure-strategy Nash equilibrium in the spatial model with valence: existence and characterization," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 190(3), pages 301-316, March.
    4. Javier Cembrano & Felix Fischer & Max Klimm, 2023. "Optimal Impartial Correspondences," Papers 2301.04544, arXiv.org.
    5. Amorós, Pablo, 2022. "Implementation in dominant strategies of quota rules to choose one candidate," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 216(C).
    6. In'acio B'o & Li Chen, 2021. "Designing Heaven's Will: The job assignment in the Chinese imperial civil service," Papers 2105.02457, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2021.
    7. Amorós, Pablo, 2021. "Using supermajority rules to aggregate judgments of possibly biased experts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 207(C).
    8. Matthew Olckers & Toby Walsh, 2022. "Manipulation and Peer Mechanisms: A Survey," Papers 2210.01984, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2023.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pope; Conclave; Mechanism design; Impartiality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • K16 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Election Law
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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