DP997 | Financial Reform in Israel: A Case of Gradualism

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While the Israeli stabilization of 1985 has received significant attention in previous work, much less is known about the process of financial opening and liberalization which began shortly afterwards. In contrast to the disinflation policy of 1985, the process of financial liberalization that started in 1987 proceeded in a slow and gradual mode. No official announcement was made about either the precise policy measures or the timetable for the process. As a result of these and other political economy factors, the process has not been completed and there are no strong incentives for policy-makers to further deepen the reforms at the present time. This paper discusses the main elements of financial liberalization in Israel and draws implications that could be relevant for financial opening policies in other countries.