Ran Abramitzky's book, The Mystery of the Kibbutz: Egalitarian Principles in a Capitalist World, tries to answer the questions of why the communal kibbutz worked so well in Israel's formative years and what limits its current success in modern Israel. Initial ideological commitment and the special circumstances of Israel's founding led to unusual success when combined with well-thought-out rules on behavior and entry. Over time, the commitment to socialistic income sharing has not worked so well, given modern technology and global commerce. The author links up these ideas to the broader issue of organizational structure but misses out on some opportunities to test the ideas further.
Spatial economics aims to explain why there are peaks and troughs in the spatial distribution of wealth and people, from the international and regional to the urban and local. The main task is to identify the microeconomic underpinnings of centripetal forces, which lead to the concentration of economic activities, and centrifugal forces, which bring about the dispersion of economic activities at the regional and urban levels. Transportation matters at both scales, but in a different way. The emphasis is on the interregional flows of goods and passenger trips at the regional level and on individual commuting at the urban level.