The Israeli economy is controlled by relatively small number of companies and this economic concentration is growing, according to a report compiled by Finance Ministry economists, which is being made public by Haaretz for the first time.
The study's authors, who are staff in the economic and research branch of the ministry's State Revenue Division, say the economic concentration characterizing the Israeli economy constitutes, in their words, "a systemic risk to the economy."
According to the study, which relates to the period from 2002 to 2008, the contribution to the growth of the workforce by the conglomerates that possess these high levels of economic control is lower than the contribution of other companies.
The wages paid by the conglomerates is also relatively low compared to employees of other firms, and while at the other firms the disparity between the salaries paid to senior executives and other workers has remained constant, at the conglomerates, it has been growing.
Although public discourse on socioeconomic issues, including the issue of concentration of economic control, has reached a peak since the study was completed about a month ago, with the wave of protests in the country, the study has not been released publicly by the ministry.
It is not certain whether the Finance Ministry study has been presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It is also not clear whether it was provided to the two economic investigative panels that were commissioned by the prime minister: one established in October of last year specifically on the issue of concentration of economic control and the other, the Trajtenberg Committee looking at broader socioeconomic issues, which was convened about a month ago. Neither committee has yet issued recommendations.