DP12662 | Israel’s Immigration Story: Winners and Losers

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01/29/2018

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Abstract

The exodus of Soviet Jews to Israel in the 1990s was a unique event. The extraordinary experience of Israel, which has received three quarter million migrants from the Former Soviet Union within a short time, is also relevant for the current debate about globalization. The immigration wave was distinctive for its large high skilled cohort, and its quick integration into the domestic labor market. Immigration also changed the entire economic landscape: it raised productivity, underpinned by the information technological surge, and had significant impact on income inequality. This paper provides an explanation for a possible link between immigration and the level of redistribution in Israel’s welfare state.