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The paper compares per capita product, disposable income, consumption and savings figures for the kibbutz movement to the equivalent national Israeli figures. The newness of this paper lies in the separation of the macroeconomic figures of the kibbutz as a specific ideological sector. This is done by considering the economy of the kibbutzim (plural of kibbutz) as an autonomous one which exports and imports goods and services from the rest of the national Israeli economy. This methodology enables for the first time to aggregate figures of the individual kibbutz into macro-national comparable terms. The comparison focuses on four years: 1982, which indicates the pre-crisis period; 1989 - the mid-crisis year; 1992 which is considered by the kibbutz movements as the beginning of the recovery process, and 1994 still in the changing process. The paper examines conceptual and practical measurement problems involved in the comparison. Even before the crisis began, there was a relative low per capita gross product in the kibbutz. The figures of the mid-crisis indicate a decline in the relative gross product, but show some modest steps towards recovery in the end of the observed period. A simulation shows that one cannot blame the high interest rate paid by the kibbutz alone for its poor performance. The paper indicates that in contrast to the general findings until the 1980s, the kibbutz system is overall less efficient than the Israeli economy as a whole.


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