The Economics of Sainthood

Barro, McCleary and McQuoid have a new paper, The Economics of Sainthood (a preliminary investigation)

Saint-making has been a major activity of the Catholic Church for centuries. The pace of
sanctifications has picked up noticeably in the last several decades under the last two popes, John
Paul II and Benedict XVI. Our goal is to apply social-science reasoning to understand the
Church’s choices on numbers and characteristics of saints, gauged by location and socioeconomic
attributes of the persons designated as blessed.

I couldn't help laughing at sentences such as these:

Another result is the significantly negative coefficient on pope’s tenure, given by the
coefficient -0.0229 (s.e.=0.0095) in Table 3, column 1. This result implies that a one-standard deviation
increase in tenure (8.5 years in Table 2) reduces the canonization rate by 0.2 per year.
Thus, there is a little evidence that popes experience saint-making fatigue as their tenure in office

Saint-making fatigue; who knew?


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