Cathedral Building as an Entry-Deterring Device

13 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2005

See all articles by Brighita Negrusa

Brighita Negrusa

Clemson University - Department of Economics

Robert B. Ekelund

Auburn University - Department of Economics

Robert D. Tollison

Clemson University - Department of Economics; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Abstract

This paper suggests that, while medieval cathedrals served many purposes and, indeed, were some of the greatest technical achievements of their time, they served a rational economic purpose as well. Protestant entry into the market for Christian religion finally materialized in the early sixteenth century. The Roman Catholic Church did not make a 'mistake' in failing to forestall entry. We argue that the Church made a conscious rational effort to do so by supplying excess capacity and particular forms of capital in medieval cathedrals. While the attempt to forestall entry was ultimately unsuccessful, the extent of cathedral building helps explain why some areas of Europe remained Catholic and alternative forms of Christianity took hold in other locales.

Suggested Citation

Negrusa, Brighita and Ekelund, Robert B. and Tollison, Robert D., Cathedral Building as an Entry-Deterring Device. Kyklos, Vol. 58, No. 4, pp. 453-465, November 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=857673 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0023-5962.2005.00297.x

Brighita Negrusa (Contact Author)

Clemson University - Department of Economics ( email )

Clemson, SC 29634
United States

Robert B. Ekelund

Auburn University - Department of Economics ( email )

415 W. Magnolia
Auburn, AL 36849-5242
United States
334-844-2929 (Phone)

Robert D. Tollison

Clemson University - Department of Economics ( email )

Clemson, SC 29634
United States

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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