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The Use of real estate for the settlement of claims in Roman Palestine

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  • P. V. Viswanath

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    (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

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    Abstract

    The Mishna in Tractate Gittin discusses land qualities, in a context where land is used to settle monetary obligations. The law is that land of different qualities must be used to pay claimants in different situations; in particular, claimants pursuant to a tort case have the right to have their claim paid with land of the best quality. Creditors have the right to be paid with land of medium quality, while women who are owed money as part of a ketuba (marriage contract) claim may have to be satisfied with land of the lowest quality. However, the total value of the land received by each claimant is just the amount they are owed - it is independent of the quality of the land that is used to pay them. This being the case, the purpose of the legislation is unclear. In this paper, I explore the possibility that the law is designed to minimize the total amount of transactions costs.

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    File URL: http://www.igidr.ac.in/pdf/publication/WP-2007-002.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India in its series Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers with number 2007-002.

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    Length: 11 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ind:igiwpp:2007-002

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    Keywords: Land markets; law; religion and economics; market microstructure; mishna; sasanian babylonia; Talmud;

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    1. Gunnar Köhlin & Peter J. Parks, 2001. "Spatial Variability and Disincentives to Harvest: Deforestation and Fuelwood Collection in South Asia," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(2), pages 206-218.
    2. Amihud, Yakov & Mendelson, Haim, 1986. "Asset pricing and the bid-ask spread," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 223-249, December.
    3. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1989. "Markets, Market Failures, and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 197-203, May.
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