S. Brock Blomberg and Gregory D. Hess
This article takes a macroeconomic perspective, looking at a cross section of nations over time, to provide further evidence on the costs of conflict, both internal and external. Adapting a model of Lucas (1987) intended to measure the costs of business cycles, it assesses the impact of conflict viewed as an aggregate “shock” to national consumption and welfare. The article suggests that the estimates of the permanent welfare loss resulting from war, under conservative scenarios, are remarkably large and much higher than the estimated costs of business cycles.
Robert B. Ekelund, Jr., Robert F. Hébert, and Robert D. Tollison
The exact starting and ending dates of the Middle Ages may be difficult to specify, but historians are virtually unanimous that the period, however demarcated, represented the high tide of Christianity in Western Europe. Medieval Europe provides an interesting case study, not only of religion and politics, but of the overlap between them, which was far greater in medieval society than it is today. The medieval Roman Catholic Church, as an economic and political entity, attempted to accomplish its otherworldly goals in this world by acquiring power and influence. Most large corporations need access to capital markets to grow and prosper. The medieval Church was no exception, but it was constrained by its own admonitions against “laying up earthly treasure” and “serving Mammon instead of God.” This article discusses the political economy of the medieval Church, focusing on its response to the Crusades and also considering purgatory, indulgences, and the Protestant Reformation, as well as marriage as a sacrament.
Francisco M. Gonzalez
This article brings conflict theory into the equilibrium analysis of the production and distribution of output. Starting with a static framework and then moving on to a dynamic one, it shows that the absence of centralized enforcement of property rights influences the allocation of resources among productive and unproductive activities and economic growth. The discussion shows that the decentralized use of coercion in society is central to economic backwardness and development.