Ranking ranking rules

Barak Medina, Shlomo Naeh, Uzi Segal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transitivity is a fundamental requirement for consistency. Legal systems, especially when composed over time and by different agencies, may encounter non-transitive cycles, in which by one rule the law prefers one outcome a over another outcome b, by another rule b trumps some third result c, but a third rule ranks c higher than a. This paper discusses a new solution to such cycles in which the relevant rules of preferences are ranked and then applied until a transitive order of the options is obtained. The paper provides a formal generalization of this solution, and demonstrates its possible implementation to some legal issues. It is also shown that this solution can be traced to the Rabbinic literature, starting with the Mishnah and the Talmud (1st-5th c CE).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)73-96
Number of pages24
JournalReview of Law and Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Discrimination
  • Ranking rules
  • Uzi Segal


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