The Talmud On Transitivity
AbstractTransitivity is a fundamental axiom in Economics that appears in consumer theory, decision under uncertainty, and social choice theory. While the appeal of transitivity is obvious, observed choices sometimes contradict it. This paper shows that treatments of violations of transitivity al- ready appear in the rabbinic literature, starting with the Mishnah and the Talmud (1st–5th c CE). This literature offers several solutions that are similar to those used in the modern economic literature, as well as some other solutions that may be adopted in modern situations. We analyze several examples. One where nontransitive relations are acceptable; one where a violation of transitivity leads to problems with extended choice functions; and a third where a nontransitive cycle is deliberately created (to enhance justice).
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 687.
Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 23 Jun 2008
Date of revision: 04 Sep 2009
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
- K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-06-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2008-06-27 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-EVO-2008-06-27 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2008-06-27 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-UPT-2008-06-27 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
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