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On the Talmud division : equity and robustness


  • De MESNARD, Louis

    () (LEG - CNRS UMR 5118 - Université de Bourgogne)


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 metagame. 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.

Suggested Citation

  • De MESNARD, Louis, 2008. "On the Talmud division : equity and robustness," LEG - Document de travail - Economie 2008-07, LEG, Laboratoire d'Economie et de Gestion, CNRS, Université de Bourgogne.
  • Handle: RePEc:lat:legeco:2008-07

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Moreno-Ternero, Juan D. & Villar, Antonio, 2004. "The Talmud rule and the securement of agents' awards," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 245-257, March.
    2. Abraham Diskin & Dan Felsenthal, 2007. "Individual rationality and bargaining," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 25-29, October.
    3. Dagan, Nir & Serrano, Roberto & Volij, Oscar, 1997. "A Noncooperative View of Consistent Bankruptcy Rules," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 55-72, January.
    4. Moulin, Herve, 2002. "Axiomatic cost and surplus sharing," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare,in: K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 289-357 Elsevier.
    5. Herve Moulin, 2004. "Fair Division and Collective Welfare," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633116, January.
    6. Herrero, Carmen & Villar, Antonio, 2001. "The three musketeers: four classical solutions to bankruptcy problems," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 307-328, November.
    7. Aumann, Robert J. & Maschler, Michael, 1985. "Game theoretic analysis of a bankruptcy problem from the Talmud," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 195-213, August.
    8. Diego Dominguez & William Thomson, 2006. "A new solution to the problem of adjudicating conflicting claims," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(2), pages 283-307, June.
    9. Benoit, Jean-Pierre, 1997. "The Nucleolus is Contested-Garment-Consistent: A Direct Proof," Working Papers 97-12, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    10. Toru Hokari & William Thomson, 2003. "Claims problems and weighted generalizations of the Talmud rule," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 21(2), pages 241-261, March.
    11. Benoit, Jean-Pierre, 1997. "The Nucleolus Is Contested-Garment-Consistent: A Direct Proof," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 192-196, November.
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    More about this item


    Division; Talmud; Aristotle; Contested Garment; Three Wives.;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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