While Israel has undergone some fairly seismic events government after government has managed to maintain considerable stability in civilian spending. Israel’s uniqueness stands out especially over the past five years where the ratios of expenditures to GDP have fallen slightly while they have risen in most of the West. But fiscal responsibility of this kind requires very judicious use of the available budgets and in this realm Israel has been far less successful. It has one of the worst education systems in the industrialized world and it provides welfare assistance and subsidies on a scale that enables one of the highest rates of male non-participation in the labor force.
This appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication State of the Nation Report – Society, Economy and Policy 2010.