Bargaining and informal interactions in the national budget: a game theory analysis of the Israeli case

Nissim Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This article suggests a game theory analysis of the interaction between Israeli politicians and bureaucrats regarding the national budget process since the 1980s. During the 1970s and 1980s new structural conditions created new formal and informal rules that weakened Israeli politicians’ bargaining position vis-à-vis the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The 1985 Israeli Economic Stabilization Plan not only changed the formal political institutions, but also created new informal institutions. Under the new circumstances, Israeli politicians can rarely challenge the MOF in the political bargaining process. Given that the MOF officials are aware of Israel’s internal processes and public opinion, attempts by Israeli politicians to create the impression that they are willing to challenge the MOF officials are unlikely. We demonstrate that this situation may ultimately lead to a sub-optimal equilibrium for Israel’s social welfare because the balance of power between the players favors one dominant side – the MOF officials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-78
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Review of Administrative Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 16 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • budgeting
  • central administration
  • policymaking
  • public administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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