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The Mystery of the Kibbutz


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Table of Contents

Introduction The kibbutz puzzle 1 I THE RISE 19 1 How my grandparents helped create a kibbutz 21 2 A bird's-eye view 39 3 Why an economist might create a kibbutz 59 II THE SURVIVAL 75 4 On the creation versus survival of societies 79 5 The free-rider problem 87 6 The adverse selection and brain drain problems 105 7 The problem of human capital investment 161 III THE FALL 179 8 The shift away from equal sharing 181 9 Why some kibbutzim remained egalitarian and others did not 198 10 The consequences of rising income inequality 224 11 On the (lack of) stability of communes: an economic perspective 250 12 Economic lessons in a nutshell 283 13 Epilogue 292 Kibbutz timeline 297 Acknowledgments 301 References 305 Index 325

About the Author

Ran Abramitzky is associate professor of economics at Stanford University and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.


"[This book] draws on extensive statistical data to analyse this paradox, along with many stories of his relatives who forged, embraced and sometimes rejected the kibbutz way of life." * Times Higher Education *

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