Government Expenditure on Social Services – 2006
Author: Yaakov Kop Policy Research

After three years of economic recovery and growth, there seems to be an increasing awareness that economic growth alone cannot narrow Israel’s poverty levels and economic disparities in any significant way. In the meantime, the hostilities in the North in the summer of 2006 may slow down the rapid economic growth and create political and security realities that required a rethinking of priorities in resource allocation.

Under these new conditions, the problems of coping with Israel’s socio-economic issues became even more complicated and difficult.

The challenge of crafting the desired policy for the improvement of the welfare of weak population groups suffers, among other things, from difficulties in identifying, measuring and, particularly, in comparing cost-benefit ratios among different public social outlays. The goal of this survey is to contribute to the debate over the government’s socio-economic policy by improving its factual base. It describes long-term developments in a way that is consistent with previous surveys, gauges the main trends in government expenditure on social services, and attempts — to the extent possible — to assess the effectiveness of the expenditure.

This paper appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication, Israel’s Social Services 2006, Yaakov Kop (editor).

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