Israel’s Immigration Story: Winners and Losers

34 Pages Posted: 2 May 2018

See all articles by Assaf Razin

Assaf Razin

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: April 1, 2018

Abstract

The exodus of Soviet Jews to Israel in the 1990s was a unique event. The immigration wave was distinctive for its large high skilled cohort, its quick integration into the domestic labor market, and its unprecedented election participation rate. The wave of immigration changed the entire economic landscape: It raised productivity, underpinned by the information technology surge, and had a significant impact on income inequality. The extraordinary experience of Israel, which absorbed three-quarters of a million immigrants from the Former Soviet Union within a short time, is also relevant for the current debate about winners and losers from immigration. This paper provides evidence and a rigorous political-economy explanation for a potential link between the immigration wave and the markedly changed level of redistribution in Israel’s welfare state.

Suggested Citation

Razin, Assaf, Israel’s Immigration Story: Winners and Losers (April 1, 2018). Israel Economic Review, Vol. 15, No. 1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3162989

Assaf Razin (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
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+972 3 640 7303 (Phone)
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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