This lucidly written study is unique in that there is no book extant by an economic historian that discusses Talmudic economics in the light of modern economics. Its major focus is on the intricate debates, statements and principles that were forged by the Talmudic Rabbis. This ancient storehouse of learning includes a wealth of economic knowledge of modern sophistication. The book taps these "economic treasures" by way of analytic inquiry.
The authors, both economic historians and economists, through their study of the original dialectics in the Talmud, were able to discern a wide range of macro- and micro-economic ideas of major significance. These concepts when viewed from either a contemporary or a modern perspective, display an extraordinary degree of insight and sophistication. Indeed, sections of the Talmud and the reflections of subsequent commentators on those passages, embody a wealth of economic thought that was later to become significant in the reasoning of political economists, or of their professional academic successors.
Roman A. Ohrenstein,Ph.D., University of Munich, Germany, is Rabbi and professor emeritus of Economics at Nassau College, State University of New York. Publications: 'Game Theory in the Talmud - An Economic Perspective'
The International Journal of Social Economics (1989), and various articles on the subject of Talmud and economics.
Barry L.J. Gordon, is Professor of Economics at the University of Newcastle, N.S.W. He is the author of 14 books and monographs, and numerous articles. Publications:
Regional Modelling and Regional Planning (with M.T. Gordon) (1991), and
The Economic Problem in Biblical and Patristic Thought (Brill, 1989).
Table of contents
PART ONE - BACKGROUNDS
1. The Talmud, Its Method and Related Issues
2. Old Wisdom and the Written Law
PART TWO - MACRO-ECONOMIC ISSUES
3. Economic Self-Interest and Social Progress
4. Business Cycle Analysis: The Talmudic Insight
PART THREE - MICRO-ECONOMIC ISSUES
5. Time Dimension, Opportunity Cost and Market Behavior
6. Game Theory—The Talmudic Minimax
7. Risk, Uncertainty and Expectation
PART FOUR - DISTRIBUTIONAL EQUITY
8. The Welfare Dimension
PART FIVE - THE VALUE OF PERSONS
9. Categories of Value
10. Human Capital Issues
PART SIX - IMPACT ON WESTERN ECONOMICS
11. Jews in the European Economy
Students and specialists of the history of economic thought, Talmudic studies, and Jewish studies.