Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-22-75


What if someone bought a property in good faith, not realizing that this property was unjustly confiscated from the previous owner? In such situations, if the new owner decided to sell this property, Talmud recommended that a fair way is to return 1/4 of the selling price to the original owner. However, it does not provide any explanation of why exactly 1/4 -- and not any other portion -- is to be returned. In this paper, we provide an economic explanation for this recommendation, an explanation that fits well with other ancient recommendations about debts.