The Socioeconomic Integration of the Ethiopian Community in Israel

Student thesis: Thesis


Using data from the 1995 Israeli Census of Population, this study examines the demographic, human capital, and labour force characteristics of the Ethiopian community in Israel and its determinants of employment. The results provide strong evidence for the overall disadvantaged socio-economic status of the Ethiopian community and reveal substantial gaps in educational and occupational attainment between Ethiopian Israelis and members of other ethnic groups in Israeli society. Ethiopian Israelis have substantially lower levels of education, lower employment rates, and are more likely to have low-skilled occupations. However, multivariate analyses show that the determinants of employment of Ethiopian Israelis are relatively similar to those of other ethnic groups. Education and veteran status are found to be especially important factors associated with increased odds of employment. Although the rates of return from education are lower among Israelis of Ethiopian origin compared to other ethnic groups, this study suggests that education constitutes the major avenue for upward mobility in the Ethiopian community. Nevertheless, considering their current disadvantaged position, the question of whether Ethiopian immigrants will manage in the long run to climb up the socio-economic ladder and significantly improve their status, or whether they run the risk of becoming a marginalized ethnic group in Israeli society, remains a major concern. Implications for the formation of a new cleavage in Israeli society and the emergence of a stratification system based on race are discussed.
Date of Award2000
Original languageAmerican English
Awarding Institution
  • University of Haifa
SupervisorAlisa Lewin (Supervisor)

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