The Singer Series: State of the Nation Report 2014

The Singer Series annual State of the Nation Report: Society, Economy and Policy in Israel, the Taub Center’s premier publication, gives a unique historical and international perspective on Israel’s long-run socioeconomic trajectories, highlighting their primary determinants and offering policy options.  The Report provides the Israeli public and policy makers with vantage points that are both broad and deep in highly relevant social and economic issues, with research spanning the fields of economics, education, labor, health, and social welfare, as well as various other special topics.

This year’s report brings together 13 original, path breaking studies in the areas of society, economics, labor, education, social welfare, health, and public expenditure.  The report opens with an examination of household spending, income and savings in Israel, shedding light on differences among population groups in this regard.  The Israeli housing market is explored, including the rise in housing prices, trends in home ownership, and policy recommendations for expanding housing supply.  Two chapters address the Israeli labor market: the first offers an analysis of and suggestions for reform based on learnings from the Scandinavian “flexicurity” labor market model and the second examines trends in wage disparities.  Other chapters address trends in the education system, including issues of budgeting and educational achievements, as well as the integration of Arab Israelis and Jews in Israeli schools.  Other topics covered in this volume include: the shadow economy in Israel; poverty among Israel’s elderly; welfare budgets for Israel’s elderly population; patterns of food expenditure in Israel; financing and workforce trends in the healthcare system; and health and healthcare in the context of both mortality and disability/quality of life.

Select quotes from the press on Taub Center research:

Jerusalem Post

“An Economic Bombshell”

Sever Plotsker, Senior Editor, Yediot Aharonot

The economic dialogue in Israel is changing in front of our very eyes […]  Decisive evidence of this change appears in the findings of the State of the Nation Report which was published this week by the Taub Center.  In a series of in-depth, original studies, the Center’s economists report new findings on inequality and poverty in Israeli society.

Guy Rolnik, Haaretz Deputy Publisher, TheMarker founder and Editor-in-Chief

This past year, the Taub Center has made an impressive turnabout and has begun to examine much more significant and painful areas: those areas where if a change is really going to be made, there will need to be a confrontation with the strong factions in the economy that enjoy the current status quo.

Yoel Esteron, Publisher, Calcalist

The writing on the wall burns like a missile with a non-conventional warhead: if the Haredim continue to educate and be educated for a life of non-work – the State of Israel will disintegrate.

Yaron London, TV Channel 10 evening news magazine

The Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel has published its annual report, and it includes findings that I believe are no less than sensational … worse than the Iranian atom.

Aluf Benn, Editor-in-Chief, Haaretz

…the issue [of core curriculum, educational achievements, and how the education system is run] wasn’t even discussed ten years ago…only in recent years has it come to the popular view, thanks to the efforts of the Taub Center.

Haviv Rettig, The Times of Israel

…Forget E1, forget about the meaningless gesture of withdrawing the British ambassador. And forget about Hamas. There is only one true existential danger Israel faces today, and it’s contained in the Taub Center’s latest report…

Rivka Sneh, Makor Rishon

Prof. Dan Ben-David’s research created a storm … The published numbers [on employment, education, and long-run trends] completely unnerved the public.

Prof. Nimrod Aloni, Globes

Prof. Dan Ben-David has provided a great service to Israeli society … with the publication of The State of the Nation Report.

Nachum Barnea, Yediot Achronot

A report about the state of the country recently published by the Taub Center, which researched social policy in Israel, joins the fear list. Big time.

Asher Schechter, Haaretz-TheMarker

The Taub Center’s new Report is disturbing, one that really shakes you up.  In a normal country, no news story would be more important than this and there would be a demand for a response from the Prime Minister while cabinet ministers would be required to show results or resign.

Mickey Peled, Calcalist

In the past year, it seems that Ben-David, the head of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, has succeeded in conveying his message.  His words resound in almost every major senior forum, and insights that were once the purview of economists are now the ruling axioms.

Nehemia Strasler, Haaretz

Away from the spotlight, an internal threat is brewing that is no less dangerous [than the national security threat], one slowly wearing the country down and placing it in danger of collapse. As summed up last week in a study led by Dan Ben-David of the Taub Center, the Zionist dream is itself under threat of extinction.

Or Kashti, Haaretz

The annual report of the Taub Center on the social situation in Israel, that was published last week, is one of the most thorough and important documents that I have read recently.