War and Social Integration: The Effects of the Israeli-Arab Conflict on Jewish Emigration from Israel

  • Cohen Y
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Protracted conflicts may affect measures of social integration in dissimilar, even opposite ways. Employing Jewish emigration rates from Israel as a measure of social (dis)integration, I test the effects of two aspects of the Israeli-Arab conflict on emigration rates during 1951-1984: (1) annual military reserve duty and (2) subjective intensity of the conflict or its salience as reflected in the media. These two aspects are hypothesized to affect emigration rates through different mechanisms. Reserve duty constitutes a heavy cost to the individual, which directly affects the majority of Israeli households. It is expected to increase emigration rates by increasing individual costs of living in Israel. Increased salience of the conflict, on the other hand, is likely to attenuate emigration rates via social mechanisms that enhance social cohesion and integration. Results support arguments for opposite effects of the two aspects of conflict on emigration rates.

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  • Yinon Cohen

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