Israel's Immigration Story: Globalization Lessons

41 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2017 Last revised: 28 Mar 2017

Date Written: March 2017


The exodus of Soviet Jews to Israel in the 1990s was a unique event. The extraordinary experience of Israel, which has received migrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) at the rate of 17 percent of its population, within a short time, is also relevant for the current debate about migration and globalization. The immigration wave was distinctive for its large high skilled cohort, and its quick integration into the domestic labor market. Among various ethnic groups the FSU immigrants ranked at the top of intergenerational upward mobility. Immigration also changed the entire economic landscape: it raised productivity, underpinning technological prowess, and had significant impact on income inequality and the level of redistribution in Israel’s welfare state.

Suggested Citation

Razin, Assaf, Israel's Immigration Story: Globalization Lessons (March 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23210. Available at SSRN:

Assaf Razin (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University ( email )

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