Alex Cukierman, Thomas Lustenberger, 04 November 2018

Almost 60 years ago, John Muth introduced the idea that adaptive expectations are rational if they efficiently use all available information. However, individuals are never fully certain, even ex post, about the permanence of economic developments. Using Israeli data, this explores the implications of this residual uncertainty for market efficiency. The findings point to issues with conventional market efficiency tests where ‘permanent-transitory confusion’ is in effect. 

Alex Cukierman, 02 November 2018

The size and nature of an economy have a crucial influence on the measures that can be taken in response to major shocks. This column investigates the forex interventions taken by Switzerland and Israel – two small, open economies – in the wake of the Global Crisis. While discretionary interventions are shown to be preferable when policy rates are strictly positive, this is no longer valid when the effective lower bound is reached and unconventional monetary policy is called for. The transfer of reserve management to a sovereign wealth fund is also discussed. 

Yossi Saadon, Nathan Sussman, 31 October 2018

Global integration has increased rapidly over recent decades, leaving basic theories of exchange rate equilibrium ripe for reconsideration. This column tests two such theories – purchasing power parity and uncovered interest rate parity – using the case of the advanced, small open economy of Israel and the US. The results show that when the necessary conditions are met, the purchasing power parity and uncovered interest rate parity relationships continue to hold in the short run. 

Assaf Razin, 06 May 2018

The exodus of Soviet Jews to Israel in the 1990s was a unique event. This column shows that this immigration wave was distinctive for its large high-skilled cohort, and its quick integration into the domestic labour market. Immigration also changed the entire economic landscape, raising productivity and underpinning the information technological surge. Israel’s unusually robust assimilation of immigrants into the economic sphere and the electoral system has transformed the political balance and triggered significant changes in income distribution.

Assaf Razin, Efraim Sadka, 18 December 2017

The ongoing advance of globalisation has created a genuine need for international tax reforms. This column explores potential reforms and their likely effects, using a model with flexible prices. Residence-based income taxation is shown to have welfare advantages over source-based taxation, though at the cost of a larger trade deficit. Non-transitory border taxes are shown to be ineffective at reducing this deficit.

Assaf Razin, 01 April 2017

Israel has received almost one million immigrants from the former Soviet Union, close to 19% of its established population. The extraordinary exodus of Soviet Jews to Israel in the 1990s is relevant to the current debate about globalisation. This column argues that the wave of immigration was distinctive for its large high-skilled cohort and its quick integration into the domestic labour market. Soviet-Jew immigration raised productivity, underpinned technological prowess, and had a large impact on income inequality and redistribution in Israel’s welfare state.

Ruben Durante, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 15 June 2016

Governments involved in conflict are often concerned with how their actions are perceived by the international community. This column uses evidence on the Israel-Palestine conflict and US news reporting between 2000 and 2011 to show how media considerations can impact military strategy. Israeli attacks are more likely to be carried out one day before the US news is expected to be dominated by important political or sport events. There is no evidence of a similar pattern to Palestinian attacks. The findings suggest that strategic behaviour could undermine the effectiveness of the mass media as a watchdog, and thus reduce citizens’ ability to keep public officials accountable. 

Alex Cukierman, 01 April 2016

Central banks are there to ensure price stability, and economists generally agree that politics and central banking don’t mix well. This column takes us through the inflationary and more controlled history of Israel’s central bank, highlighting the current policy dilemmas facing the country.

Igal Hendel, Saul Lach, Yossi Spiegel, 19 June 2015

It is well-documented that social media is an enabler of mass protests. Social media-led protests and how they interact with the economy are, however, less well-understood. This column focusses on boycotts of cottage cheese (a staple food) in Israel as a protest against increased prices and finds that firms seem to react to these threats and set prices not only on the basis of demand elasticities, as traditional analysis in industrial organisation assumes, but also on the basis of the business environment – something which is not easily captured by traditional analysis.

Nitsa Kasir, Eran Yashiv, 24 February 2015

The labour market outcomes of Israeli Arabs, who are mostly Muslim, are negative in terms of participation, employment, and wages. There is a significant gap between their outcomes and those of the majority in Israeli society. CEPR Policy Insight 78 shows that government policy may make a big difference through investment in education, active labour market policies, physical infrastructure, tax and benefits reform, and anti-discrimination legislation and enforcement. The estimated rate of return on these policies is relatively high. And the lessons to be learned could be applied to other Muslim minorities. 

Nitsa Kasir, Eran Yashiv, 25 February 2015

The labour market outcomes of Israeli Arabs, who are mostly Muslim, are negative in terms of participation, employment, and wages. There is a significant gap between their outcomes and those of the majority in Israeli society. This column introduces CEPR Policy Insight 78, which shows that government policy may make a big difference through investment in education, active labour market policies, physical infrastructure, tax and benefits reform, and anti-discrimination legislation and enforcement. The estimated rate of return on these policies is relatively high. And the lessons to be learned could be applied to other Muslim minorities. 

Victor Lavy, Avraham Ebenstein, Sefi Roth, 20 November 2014

Admission to higher education often depends on the results of high-stakes tests, but assessing the consequences of having a ‘bad day’ on such tests is challenging. This column provides evidence from a dataset on Israeli high-school students. Random variations in pollution have measurable effects on exam performance, and these in turn have significant effects on students’ future educational and labour-market outcomes. The authors argue that placing too much weight on high-stakes exams may not be consistent with meritocratic principles.

Avraham Ebenstein, Moshe Hazan, Avi Simhon, 02 December 2011

For years, policymakers trying to influence the decisions of would-be parents have tried to change the ‘price’ of having children. In France they have made it cheaper; in China more expensive. This column looks at whether such policies are likely to have their desired effect. It examines unique evidence of a shock to the cost of having a child in Israeli communities between 1990 and 2000.

David Jaeger, Daniele Paserman, 10 June 2008

Economists have moved from general, game-theoretic descriptions of armed conflicts to detailed investigations of the short-run dynamics of violent conflict. This column describes recent research on the impact of Israeli violence on Palestinian violence and vice versa as well as the impact of violence on Palestinian public support for radical factions and the peace process.

Dan Ben-David, 14 March 2008

This second column on Israeli academic migration to the United States examines the differences in higher education policies that are driving the brain drain.

Dan Ben-David, 13 March 2008

This column introduces a two-part series on how differences between universities are inducing a massive academic migration from Israel to the United States. The magnitude of this scholarly brain drain is unparalleled in the western world.

Shoshana Neuman, Einat Neuman, 11 January 2008

Evidence from Israeli hospitals shows that medical care-givers aren’t accommodating patients’ preferences. This summary of the findings suggests how hospitals might better serve their patients.

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