Education and Unemployment in Israel, 1976-1994: Reducing the Anomaly

Jacob Weisberg, Noah M. Meltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In industrialized economies, unemployment rates are inversely related to education levels. Data from 1963 to 1994 show that Israel is an anomaly exhibiting an inverted U-shaped relationship. Workers with 9-12 years of schooling consistently experienced a higher level of unemployment than the schooling groups with less and more education. Multivariate regression analysis of data for Israel during the 1976-1994 period indicates that this inverted U-shaped relationship is moderating. The national unemployment rate and a time trend variable had positive and significant effects tending to strengthen the inverted U-shaped relationship. However, an increase in the unemployment rate within the 0-8 education group relative to the 9-12 group and a decline in the labour force participation rate of the 0-8 group overrode these factors, resulting in a flattening of the inverse relationship. The major factor responsible for the anomaly in the education-unemployment relationship in Israel appears to be government policies intended to protect low-educated immigrants with large families. A reduction in government support over recent years seems to have increased the exposure of the least educated to labour market forces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-691
Number of pages19
JournalRelations Industrielles
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


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