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Zvi Eckstein

Zvi Eckstein is Dean of the School of Economics in the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya and served as Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel from 2006 to 2011.

Titles by This Author

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, Soviet Jews emigrated in large numbers to Israel. Over the next ten years, Israel absorbed approximately 900,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union, an influx that equaled about twenty percent of the Israeli population. Most of these new immigrants of working age were college-educated and highly skilled. Once in Israel, they were eligible for a generous package of benefits, including housing subsidies, Hebrew language training, and vocational education. This episode provides a natural experiment for testing the consequences of a large immigration inflow of skilled workers. This book provides a detailed analysis of the gradual process of occupational upgrading of immigrants and the associated rise in their wages.

Based on their analysis, the authors conclude that even a very large and unanticipated wave of immigration can be integrated within the local labor market without any significant long-term adverse economic effect on natives. The small effect on wages and employment of natives is explained by the capital inflows into Israel and the gradual entry of immigrants into high-skill jobs as they invest in local human capital. An important contribution of the book to the immigration literature is the formulation and estimation of stochastic dynamic models that combine job search with investment in human capital and the analysis of alternative government policies within this framework.

Titles by This Editor

Lessons for Central Bankers

The recent financial crisis shook not only the global economy but also conventional wisdom about economic policy. After the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, policy makers reversed course and acted on an unprecedented scale. The policy response was remarkable both for its magnitude and for the variety of measures undertaken. This book examines both the major role central banks played in the crisis and the role they might play in preventing or preparing for future crises.

The contributors, central bankers from around the world, focus on monetary policy, the new area of macroprudential policy, and issues of exchange rates, capital flows, and banking and financial markets. They look at the experiences of both developed and emerging economies, considering why some, including Israel and Australia, suffered only mild effects while others--Ireland for example--plunged into severe financial crisis.