Behavioral Despair in the Talmud: New Solutions to Unsolved Millenium-Old Legal Problems

Forthcoming in the Asian Journal of Law and Economics

13 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2016 Last revised: 24 Mar 2017

See all articles by Philip Maymin

Philip Maymin

University of Bridgeport - School of Business

Zakhar Maymin

Independent

Zina Maymin

Independent

Date Written: February 25, 2016

Abstract

We solve two "unsolvable" (teyku) problems from the Talmud that had remained unsolved for about one and a half thousand years. The Talmudic problems concern the implied decision-making of farmers who have left some scattered fruit behind, and the alleged impossibility of knowing whether they would return for given amounts of fruit over given amounts of land area if we aware of their behavior at exactly one point. We solve the problems by formalizing the Talmudic discussion and expressing five natural economic and mathematical assumptions that are also eminently reasonable in the original domain. If we also allow a sixth assumption regarding the farmer's minimum wage, we can solve two other related unsolvable problems.

Suggested Citation

Maymin, Philip and Maymin, Zakhar and Maymin, Zina, Behavioral Despair in the Talmud: New Solutions to Unsolved Millenium-Old Legal Problems (February 25, 2016). Forthcoming in the Asian Journal of Law and Economics. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2738350 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2738350

Philip Maymin (Contact Author)

University of Bridgeport - School of Business ( email )

126 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06601
United States

Zakhar Maymin

Independent ( email )

Zina Maymin

Independent ( email )

United States

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