The Intensity of Protestant Catholic Competition at the Borders of Influence

Yet another important (and testable) implication suggested by figure 8.2 is that price competition will be most intense around the value Pp. Such competition may be expected even in areas that do not finally settle as Protestant. In 1956 economic geographer Charles M. Tiebout constructed a multi-jurisdictional model in which independent local governments offer a wide variety of expenditure and tax policies, and perfectly mobile consumers reveal their preferences for local public goods through their choice of residential community.22 In other words, Tiebout argued that consumers "vote with their feet.'' Making allowances for differences in the economics and technology of transportation, this premise is applicable to medieval times as well. Members of different religions can be expected to move from one "tax jurisdiction" to another—for example, from a Catholic region to a Protestant region—and as they do, the economic characteristics of the two regions come closer together. Therefore, Catholic regions that are contiguous to Protestant regions should eventually exhibit similar institutional characteristics (e.g., interest rates) and growth patterns. This phenomenon is neither addressed nor explained by Weber's thesis.

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