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The Divided Economy of Mandatory Palestine

The Divided Economy of Mandatory Palestine


Part of Cambridge Middle East Studies

  • Date Published: May 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521894388

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About the Authors
  • Adopting a systematic yet non-technical approach. Jacob Metzer's book is the first to analyse the divided economy of Mandatory Palestine from the viewpoints of modern economic history and development economics. While the existing literature has tended to focus on the Jewish economy, this book explores the socio-economic attributes of both the Arab and Jewish communities within the complex political economy of the period. A concluding chapter reviews the uneasy record of Arab-Jewish economic coexistence in the area of Mandatory Palestine, composed of present-day Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The book makes a significant contribution to the economic history of the modern Middle East and to an understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It will appeal to economic historians, development economists and to scholars in the related fields of social and political history.

    • The first book to compare economic history of Arab and Jewish communities within the context of Mandatory Palestine
    • New data which is well presented and clearly analysed should become a valuable source for future research
    • An interdisciplinary approach: book will appeal to economic and developmental historians, as well as to students of the Middle East
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Jacob Metzer's excellent analysis of the economy of Mandatory Palestine combines modern economic history and development economics to explore the Arab and Jewish economies and their sectoral disparities. Offering new quantitative data on national income accounts, he examines the nature of Palestine's divided economy and carefully distinguishes between economic dualism and political ethno-nationalism as features contributing to the clear developmental asymmetries between the Arab and Jewish sectors.' Sara Roy, Harvard University

    'Jacob Metzer has assumed the difficult task of producing an economically sophisticated study of the origins and the evolution of this divided economy while circumventing the political pitfalls associated with Mandatory Palestine. The methods and thesis of this study will be of great interest to scholars from a wide spectrum. Middle Eastern historians will value the economic focus of the study and its centrality to understanding the politics of Mandatory Palestine. Students of political economy will appreciate the institutional aspects of ethno-religious divisions. Economic historians will find a fascinating account of economic exceptionalism that defied global trends in the interwar period. Moreover, contemporary observers of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will find an historical economic context for understanding present-day problems, a perspective that sets limits on what can be achieved beyond ethnoreligious coexistence.' Tarik M. Yousef, Georgetown University

    'Metzer's well-presented study does enrich our understanding of Palestine's economy during the Mandate and it is sure to put the dual-economy debate on new ground. Its fine theoretical approach, the rich quantitative documentation presented in the appendix and the new insights offered on the Arab economy make this book an original and so far indispensable reference for the history of Palestine's economy.' Frank Peter, Université de Provence/Freie Universität Berlin

    ' … Metzer's new book adds a detailed and rich picture of Palestine's complex and divided economy, as well as an important insight to ongoing debates. Hopefully it will be read by a wide range of students of Israeli society, well beyond the circle of professional economists.' Deborah S. Bernstein, Department of Sociology, University of Haifa

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521894388
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • contains: 64 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Palestine's economic structure and performance: introduction and overview
    2. The peoples of Palestine: a comparative account
    3. Patterns and characteristics of Palestine's (Jewish) immigration
    4. Production resources in a divided economy: land, capital and labor
    5. Production and trade
    6. Public sectors in Palestine's economic life
    7. Postscript: some observations on economic co-existence in adversity.

  • Author

    Jacob Metzer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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