Research Department Seminar—Fiscal Policy Issues

26/12/2012

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The Bank of Israel Research Department's annual seminar, which took place today in Jerusalem, focused on issues of fiscal policy and on the ties between fiscal and financial policies. The seminar is an important forum to share knowledge between researchers in various areas related to government and its policy, and its effect on financial and real economic developments.
 
Bank of Israel economist Yehuda Porath analyzed the connection between the economic and financial situation and the term to maturity of government issues in small developed countries in general, and in Israel in particular, against the background of the world financial crisis. Joint research by Yehuda Porath and Bank of Israel economist Nadav Steinberg examined the connection between yields and new investments in provident funds in Israel, relating as well to the effect on them of the fiscal situation and the yield on government bonds.
 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Orit Kedar presented an analysis of the effect of division into voting districts in proportional elections—a system which exists in many countries in Europe, and has at times been proposed for Israel—on the districts' proportional representation and on the parties in parliament.
 
In the afternoon session, research by the Ministry of Finance's Assaf Geva was presented. The research examined the effect of demographic developments projected for 2012–59 on public expenditure. Bank of Israel economist Yuval Mazar presented research which examined the effects of changes in public expenditure and its components and in tax rates on development of GDP in the short term.
 
The seminar hosted Professor Joel Slemrod, from the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business. Professor Slemrod spoke about tax policy and the lessons learned from around the world, in terms of the tax policy which is appropriate for Israel's economy, in light of the current fiscal challenges.
 
The seminar concluded with a lecture by Governor of the Bank of Israel Professor Stanley Fischer.