I take the data from the story of Joseph's interpretation of the Pharaoh's dream in Genesis and use information on the Pharaoh's likely rate of time preference to infer the seriousness of the famine that is described. Its severity is compared to that of modern famines in developing nations, with the conclusion that the Biblical famine was no deeper, but was longer than modern famines. © 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
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