A Game of the Throne of Saint Peter

Andrew Mackenzie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper

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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 Using historical documents, we argue that a guiding principle for the church has been the protection of electors from the temptation to defy God through dishonest nomination.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 (1945) to reinstate the scrutiny of Pope Gregory XV (1621), and argue that randomization in the case of deadlock merits consideration.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMaastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2018

Publication series

SeriesGSBE Research Memoranda

JEL classifications

  • d82 - "Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design"
  • d71 - "Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations"
  • d72 - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
  • z12 - Cultural Economics: Religion


  • economics
  • mathematical economics
  • Microeconomics


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