Explorations in the Economics of Intertemporal Asset Transfer in Roman Palestine

Author: 
P.V. Viswanath
Description: 
WP-2008-017
JEL codes: 
Abstract: 
Following the Jewish Revolt and the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 CE, there were large-scale destabilizations of the Jewish population in Palestine. Information regarding economic decisions has always been available indirectly from Jewish and Roman legalistic material, though it has been insufficiently mined for economic insights. Furthermore, over the last forty years, new documentary material has become available from the second century. This note discusses some interesting aspects of how people managed to transfer resources over time in these turbulent times. Specifically, I look at two cases of asset transfer where the primary purpose was to transfer wealth over time. I explore the role of market frictions in both cases and make comparisons to present-day circumstances.