IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this book chapter or follow this series

A Renaissance Instrument to Support Nonprofits. The Sale of Private Chapels in Florentine Churches

In: The Governance of Not-for-Profit Organizations

  • Jonathan Katz. Nelson
  • Richard J. Zeckhauser

Catholic churches in Renaissance Florence supported themselves overwhelmingly from the contributions of wealthy citizens. The sale of private chapels within churches to individuals was a significant source of church funds, and facilitated a church construction boom. Chapel sales offered three benefits to churches: prices were usually far above cost; donor/purchasers purchased masses and other tie-in services; and they added to the magnificence of the church because donors were required to decorate chapels expensively. Donors purchased chapels for two primary reasons: to facilitate services for themselves and their families, such as masses and church burials, that would speed their departure from Purgatory; and to gain status in the community. Chapels were private property within churches, but were only occasionally used directly by their owners. The expense of chapels and their decorations made them an ideal signal for wealth, particularly since sumptuary laws limited most displays of wealth. To overcome the contributions free-rider problem, these churches sold private benefits not readily available elsewhere, namely status and salvation.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If 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.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c9969.pdf
Download Restriction: no

as
in new window

This chapter was published in:
  • Edward L. Glaeser, 2003. "The Governance of Not-for-Profit Organizations," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number glae03-1, 07.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 9969.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:9969
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:9969. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.