An Economic Analysis of the Protestant Reformation

  title={An Economic Analysis of the Protestant Reformation},
  author={Robert B. Ekelund, Jr. and Robert F. H{\'e}bert and Robert D. Tollison},
  journal={Journal of Political Economy},
  pages={646 - 671}
This paper seeks to explain the initial successes and failures of Protestantism on economic grounds. It argues that the medieval Roman Catholic Church, through doctrinal manipulation, the exclusion of rivals, and various forms of price discrimination, ultimately placed members seeking the Z good “spiritual services” on the margin of defection. These monopolistic practices encouraged entry by rival firms, some of which were aligned with civil governments. The paper hypothesizes that Protestant… 
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