[Avodah] endowment effect

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Tue Oct 26 07:52:20 PDT 2021

On Wed, Oct 20, 2021 at 03:30:13AM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
> The commentators all limit even others to three meals worth. The reason
> generally given for the limit is "adam bahul al mamono" and thus the
> owner might violate Shabbat to save more/all of the barrel. This limit
> is extended to the others as well.

> Given the endowment effect
> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endowment_effect) how would you explain
> not distinguishing between the owner and others?

Have you ever seen a game show or a store giveaway where a person is put
in a booth with money blowing around in it, and they have 60 seconds
(or the like) to stuff their pockets? Or 5 minutes to fill a cart in
a supermarket for free? They go mamish meshuga trying to maximize what
they get out of the opportunity. (You might think it is free chulent at
a qiddush or somthing!) Is "bo'u vehatzilu lakhem" all that different
of a situation?

The endowment effect means that people have more reluctance to part with
what they already have than drive to acquire what they don't yet. And
therefore will pay less to get something new than will expect to give
it up once they own it.

Is does NOT mean that there is no drive to acquire. So, said meforshim
are saying that that drive is still sufficient to cause someone to bend
Shabbos to get a little more. Even if "bahul al memono" doesn't literally
fit the others in any case, since it's not "memono" yet.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                     Time flies...
http://www.aishdas.org/asp               ... but you're the pilot.
Author: Widen Your Tent                          - R' Zelig Pliskin
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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