Reducing socio-economic differences between municipalities in Israel
Despite being one of the smallest countries in the OECD, Israel is marked by significant
socio-economic disparities, which have a clear spatial dimension. Ethnic and religious
groups with weak socio-economic outcomes are not benefitting from the thriving high-tech
sector in the centre of the country. As a result, there is a persistent lack of employment
opportunities in the peripheral areas alongside skills shortages in the dynamic centre.
Inequalities between municipalities are the highest in the OECD. Moreover, the current
pandemic has hit poorer Haredi neighbourhoods particularly hard. The government should
reduce barriers that prevent segments of the population from fully participating in
the economic process and give everyone a similar chance to succeed, regardless of
where he or she was born. This will require equal access to high-quality education,
affordable housing, reasonable public transportation and improved urban planning in
every municipality to reduce spatial divides and segregation of disadvantaged households.
Local authorities can play a significant role, since good municipal government and
effective policies to achieve national priorities are the best means to improve the
outcomes of residents of poor areas.
Published on December 22, 2020
In series:OECD Economics Department Working Papersview more titles