IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Israel's Crisis and Economic Reform: A Historical Perspective


  • Michael Bruno


This article analyses the roots of the deep crisis that has afflicted the Israeli economy since 1973 and the attempt at economic reform and recovery since 1985. All of these are discussed against the background of the long-term evolution in Israel's structure and growth process. At the center of the analysis lie the implications of an oversized government and especially the devastating effects on growth and inflation of the large and persistent public sector deficit on top of the growing tax and public expenditure levels. The norm of "living beyond one's means" at the public sector level has also severely affected the norms of behavior of the private, household as well as business, sectors. Since 1985 there have been signs of recovery originating from the balancing of the budget and the relative stabilization of the currency. Labor and capital markets are gradually becoming more flexible and real interest rates are coming down. Even so, inflation rates are not yet down to international levels, continued budget balance is not assured and excessive wage increases have substantially diminished profit rates and investments in the business sector. Structural problems, rooted in economic mismanagement of the crisis years, are surfacing. Resumption of a sustained growth process requires persistent budget balance and a substantial additional reduction in public expenditure and tax levels. Structural reforms, only barely started, have to be persistently followed in the labor and capital markets, in the fiscal system, and in the further opening up of commodity and financial markets to competition from both home and abroad.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Bruno, 1989. "Israel's Crisis and Economic Reform: A Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 3075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3075
    Note: ITI IFM

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mondino, Guillermo & Sturzenegger, Federico & Tommasi, Mariano, 1996. "Recurrent High Inflation and Stabilization: A Dynamic Game," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(4), pages 981-996, November.
    2. Jonathan Marie & Sébastien Charles, 2018. "Comment Israël a évité l’hyperinflation ? Le succès du plan de stabilisation (1985) à la lumière de la théorie post-keynésienne," CEPN Working Papers 2018-10, Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord.
    3. Bonomo, Marco Antônio Cesar & Terra, Maria Cristina T., 1999. "The political economy of exchange rate policy in Brazil: 1964-1999," FGV EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 341, EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance - FGV EPGE (Brazil).
    4. Marco Bonomo & Cristina Terra, 1999. "The Political Economy of Exchange Rate Policy in Brazil: 1964-1997," Research Department Publications 3065, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3075. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.