Economic Morality and Jewish Law

Hardcover | July 25, 2012

byAaron Levine

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Economic Morality and Jewish Law compares the way in which welfare economics and Jewish law determine the propriety of an economic action, whether by a private citizen or the government. Espousing what philosophers would call a consequentialist ethical system, welfare economics evaluates theworthiness of an economic action based on whether the action would increase the wealth of society in the long run. In sharp contrast, Jewish law espouses a deontological system of ethics. Within this ethical system, the determination of the propriety of an action is entirely a matter of discoveringthe applicable rule in Judaism's code of ethics.This volume explores a variety of issues implicating morality for both individual commercial activity and economic public policy. Issues examined include price controls, the living wage, the lemons problem, short selling, and Ronald Coase's seminal theories on negative externalities. To provide ananalytic framework for the study of these issues, the work first delineates the normative theories behind the concept of economic morality for welfare economics and Jewish law, and presents a case study illustrating the deontological nature of Jewish law. The book introduces what for many readerswill be a new perspective on familiar economic issues. Despite the very different approaches of welfare economics and Jewish law in evaluating the worthiness of an economic action, the author reveals a remarkable symmetry between the two systems in their ultimate prescriptions for certain economicissues.

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Economic Morality and Jewish Law compares the way in which welfare economics and Jewish law determine the propriety of an economic action, whether by a private citizen or the government. Espousing what philosophers would call a consequentialist ethical system, welfare economics evaluates theworthiness of an economic action based on whe...

The late Aaron Levine was the Samson and Halina Bitensky Professor of Economics at Yeshiva University. A leading authority on Jewish commercial law, he published widely on the interface between economics and Jewish law, especially as it relates to public policy and modern business practices. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brooklyn Colle...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:July 25, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199826862

ISBN - 13:9780199826865

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroductionA Tale of Two Sermons (Derashot): Jewish Law's Deontological Ethics at WorkThe Sale of the Birthright and the Bilateral Monopoly ModelThe Coase Theorem as Treated in Jewish LawPrice Controls in Jewish LawReviving Yehoshua b. Gamla's Vision for Torah EducationAspect of the Lemons Problem as Treated in Jewish LawThe Living Wage and Jewish LawShort Selling and Jewish LawGlossaryName IndexSubject Index