Shadowless theocracies: A study of religion and inheritance norms

Theocratic systems often impose strict rules on those living under them. But long-run economic effects can also be felt centuries later. This column presents evidence from the Papal States, using this case study to explore the role of theocracy in shaping future religiosity as well as political preferences. The study shows that where other pre-existing behaviours and attitudes are present, such as the need for collectivism in an agrarian society, the power of the Church is diminished, with its effect on rules and systems becoming less prominent.