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Studying Texts: A Gemara of the Israeli Economy


  • Michael W. Klein


This paper reviews six English-language books on the economy of Israel. Each book was written or edited by Israelis, and each is from a different decade. The earliest book, Don Patinkin%u2019s The Israel Economy: The First Decade, was written in the late 1950s, and the most recent volume, The Israeli Economy, 1985 - 1998: From Government Intervention to Market Economics (edited by Avi Ben-Bassat), was published in 2002. While each book considers the Israeli economy at a different stage of its development, five common themes appear: (i) the relevant comparison group for considering the Israeli economy, (ii) the challenges of immigration, integration and inequality, (iii) the appropriate roles of the government and markets, (iv) openness and dependence, and (v) inflation, crisis, and stabilization. Overall, the chronology of economic views presented in these books corresponds to an increasing acceptance of the role of markets and an increasing desire for open trade in goods and assets.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael W. Klein, 2005. "Studying Texts: A Gemara of the Israeli Economy," NBER Working Papers 11352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11352
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    Cited by:

    1. Yarden Gazit & Robert M. Sauer, 2014. "Economic Concentration in the Start-Up Nation: Is Privatisation to Blame?," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 213-222, June.

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    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General

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