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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1993

Roman A. Ohrenstein

Seeks to demonstrate that the Talmudic scholars possessedtheoretical knowledge and practical experience regarding the marketphenomenon of business disturbances…

Abstract

Seeks to demonstrate that the Talmudic scholars possessed theoretical knowledge and practical experience regarding the market phenomenon of business disturbances, recognizing the existence of a causal relationship between the physical determinants of the cycles of the weather patterns and the fortunes of the agricultural sector, a condition which affected the economy as a whole. Discusses this linkage with respect to the insights in Johanan′s works. These come close to Hawtrey′s view of the business cycle as a monetary phenomenon, on the one hand, and Samuelson′s discussion of “supply shock” as a result of “...droughts and crop failures in agriculture”, on the other. Johanan also recognized the existence of a quantitativerelationship between money and prices, and prices and incomes. This suggests that the Talmudic scholars had come to appreciate the fundamentals of what was later to emerge as the quantity theory of money.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1989

Roman A. Ohrenstein and Barry Gordon

Of any group of ancient or medieval thinkers it is the Talmudic writers who came closest to the thought world of the modern human capital theorists. The only other group…

Abstract

Of any group of ancient or medieval thinkers it is the Talmudic writers who came closest to the thought world of the modern human capital theorists. The only other group which might be considered in this regard is the one comprising the jurists of ancient Rome. However, the insights of the jurists were confined to the context of discussion of damages with respect to sales of slave capital. The rabbis, by contrast, ranged beyond the question of damages. Furthermore, they employed human capital concepts in the examination of issues relating to free persons as well as slaves. There were three main points of departure for Talmudic debate in the field of human capital analysis. One of these was the biblical account, in the book of Exodus, of the construction of the Tabernacle. Another was the problem of estimation of appropriate compensation in cases of physical and psychological injury. A third involved attempts at the valuation of human life, which were evoked by the section of the book of Leviticus which deals with the dedication of persons to the sanctuary.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1996

Roman A. Ohrenstein

Attempts to analyse some of the aspects of economic time as presented in biblical and apocryphal sources, and as debated in the Talmudic tomes. Also asks, what is time and…

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Abstract

Attempts to analyse some of the aspects of economic time as presented in biblical and apocryphal sources, and as debated in the Talmudic tomes. Also asks, what is time and what is its social significance? The notion of time and its proper utilization is a major topic of discussion and significance in Hebrew scriptures, Talmudic literature and in subsequent Jewish thought. Demonstrates the scriptural and Talmudic approach towards the time phenomenon and, in particular, the utilization of time as an economic vehicle with respect to “time preference” ‐ the placing of a higher value on present rather than future goods; “waiting time” ‐ the Talmudic theory of interest; “lost time” ‐ the Talmudic theory of foregone opportunities or opportunity lost, and the subtle distinction between “waiting time” and “lost time”, all theoretically insightful and economically significant.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 23 no. 4/5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1986

Roman A. Ohrenstein

It is by now a foregone conclusion that the Talmudic sages possessed a remarkable knowledge and understanding of highly sophisticated economic laws and practices. In fact…

Abstract

It is by now a foregone conclusion that the Talmudic sages possessed a remarkable knowledge and understanding of highly sophisticated economic laws and practices. In fact, as far back as 1911, the eminent economist and scholar, Werner Sombart, had expressed his deep admiration for their high degree of economic sophistication and keen insight when he wrote:

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Article
Publication date: 1 November 1991

Roman A. Ohrenstein and Barry Gordon

In any environment which allows for individual and groupenterprise, some degree of risk as well as elements of uncertainty andexpectation will be features of virtually…

Abstract

In any environment which allows for individual and group enterprise, some degree of risk as well as elements of uncertainty and expectation will be features of virtually every human endeavour. These three decision‐making categories are especially relevant where business enterprise is concerned. In modern economics those concepts have been subject to rigorous theoretical scrutiny as well as empirical investigation of their incidence and relevance in economic life. Analysis of risk, uncertainty and expectations is also a feature of Talmudic literature; this is explored in the light of modern economics. First, the Talmudic scholars showed considerable sophistication regarding the “risk” factor, called Zeyoona, as it is interrelated with the business phenomena of “profit” and “loss”. Second, their analysis of “uncertainty” displays an amazing degree of modernity in their approach to computation of uncertainties as well as in the methodology. Finally, there are points of contact between rational expectations theory and certain Talmudic emphasis in dealing with economic behaviour: management of the future through rational forecasting and awareness of the role of information in the formation of expectations.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 18 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1989

Roman A. Ohrenstein

Modern “game theory”, unlike the Talmudic game method,is a highly advanced analytical tool, both in sophistication as well asin application. Nevertheless, the game as…

Abstract

Modern “game theory”, unlike the Talmudic game method, is a highly advanced analytical tool, both in sophistication as well as in application. Nevertheless, the game as such, whether of chance or strategy, has been practised from time immemorial, including by the ancient Hebrews. It is demonstrated that within the Talmudic dialectics, the game method was often utilised to solve intricate questions, theoretical as well as practical.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 16 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1987

Roman A. Ohrenstein and Barry Gordon

Since the 1960s, the concept of “human capital” has become an increasingly familiar idea for modern economists. Analysis related to this concept has had significant…

Abstract

Since the 1960s, the concept of “human capital” has become an increasingly familiar idea for modern economists. Analysis related to this concept has had significant applications with respect to issues concerning the supply of labour and its remuneration. The applications have also gone further afield within contemporary thought[l].

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 14 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1998

Clem Tisdell

Outlines the international travels of Clement Allan Tisdell in the period 1965‐1996 and an Australian journey made to Adelaide in 1962 for academic reasons and indicates…

Abstract

Outlines the international travels of Clement Allan Tisdell in the period 1965‐1996 and an Australian journey made to Adelaide in 1962 for academic reasons and indicates the influence of these journeys on his publications, outlook and intellectual evolution. Emphasises how varied the life of an economist can be and the importance of international social contacts for academic development. Because of the extent of his travels, descriptions and analysis of most of his journeys are brief. Consequently, a longer story still remains untold.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 25 no. 6/7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part
Publication date: 4 September 2019

Barry M. Mitnick and Martin Lewison

Despite the existence of a variety of approaches to the understanding of behavioral and managerial ethics in organizations and business relationships generally, knowledge…

Abstract

Despite the existence of a variety of approaches to the understanding of behavioral and managerial ethics in organizations and business relationships generally, knowledge of organizing systems for fidelity remains in its infancy. We use halakha, or Jewish law, as a model, together with the literature in sociology, economic anthropology, and economics on what it termed “middleman minorities,” and on what we have termed the Landa Problem, the problem of identifying a trustworthy economic exchange partner, to explore this issue.

The article contrasts the differing explanations for trustworthy behavior in these literatures, focusing on the widely referenced work of Avner Greif on the Jewish Maghribi merchants of the eleventh century. We challenge Greif’s argument that cheating among the Magribi was managed chiefly via a rational, self-interested reputational sanctioning system in the closed group of traders. Greif largely ignores a more compelling if potentially complementary argument, which we believe also finds support among the documentary evidence of the Cairo Geniza as reported by Goitein: that the behavior of the Maghribi reflected their deep beliefs and commitment to Jewish law, halakha.

Applying insights from this analysis, we present an explicit theory of heroic marginality, the production of extreme precautionary behaviors to ensure service to the principal.

Generalizing from the case of halakha, the article proposes the construct of a deep code, identifying five defining characteristics of such a code, and suggests that deep codes may act as facilitators of compliance. We also offer speculation on design features employing deep codes that may increase the likelihood of production of behaviors consistent with terminal values of the community.

Details

The Next Phase of Business Ethics: Celebrating 20 Years of REIO
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-005-4

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