An axiomatic analysis of the papal conclave

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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 Using historical documents, we argue that a guiding principle for the church has been the protection of electors from the temptation to defy god through dishonest nomination.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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-743
Number of pages31
JournalEconomic Theory
Volume69
Issue number3
Early online date27 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

JEL classifications

  • z12 - Cultural Economics: Religion
  • d82 - "Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design"
  • d71 - "Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations"

Keywords

  • Conclave
  • Impartiality
  • Mechanism design
  • Pope
  • CHOICE
  • GAME-THEORETIC ANALYSIS
  • BANKRUPTCY
  • RULES

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