Explorations in the Economics of Intertemporal Asset Transfer in Roman Palestine

P.V. Viswanath
JEL codes: 

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.