On the Talmud Division: Equity and Robustness

21 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2008 Last revised: 1 May 2010

See all articles by Louis de Mesnard

Louis de Mesnard

University of Burgundy - Institute of Business Administration Dijon (IAE) - CREGO (EA 7317)

Date Written: October 14, 2008


The Talmud Division is a very old method of sharing developed by the rabbis in the Talmud and brought to the fore in the modern area some authors, among them are Aumann and Maschler. One compares the Talmud Division to other methods, mainly here the most popular, Aristotle's Proportional Division, but also to the equal division. The Talmud Division is more egalitarian than the Proportional Division for small levels of estate and conversely and it protects the weakest -those who cannot place a non-zero claim. This suggests that claimants may choose among the claiming methods depending on their interest, what implies a meta game. Unlike other methods as the Proportional Division, the Talmud Division is not robust because the solution depends on the order in which groups of claimants are formed, while it could be impossible to form coalitions without following the increasing order of claimants or to find a general agreement about what precise coalition must be chosen. For a larger number of claimants, fulfilling the order-preserving condition may oblige to backtrack for a very large number of steps what implies an unreasonable volume of computations. The paper discusses also of three generalizations of the Contested Garment method to three or more claimants.

Keywords: Division, Sharing, Dividing, Talmud, Aristotle, Contested Garment, Three Wives

JEL Classification: D31, D63, D71

Suggested Citation

de Mesnard, Louis, On the Talmud Division: Equity and Robustness (October 14, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1316002 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1316002

Louis De Mesnard (Contact Author)

University of Burgundy - Institute of Business Administration Dijon (IAE) - CREGO (EA 7317) ( email )

2 Bd Gabriel
Dijon, 21000

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