Social Expenditure: A Question of Effectiveness, not Size.

In light of Israel's recent economic growth, the size of the government's social expenditure is a central theme in the national socio-economic conversation. The Reut Institute suggests evaluating social expenditure according to its effectiveness in supporting economic resilience.

The Taub center reports that during the years 2003-2007 economic growth improved significantly while social expenditure as a proportion of GDP decreased.

These results fuel a central argument in Israel's socio-economic conversation: should growth in social expenditure match GDP growth? The question is an artifact of a larger debate in Israel between the left and right socio-economic camps. It is irrelevant to a discussion aimed at advancing Israel's Quality of Life.

Economic Resilience; a person's ability to live in comfort, to improve his well-being, and to cope with unexpected changes in life; is the appropriate issue when discussing Quality of Life in Israel.

Therefore, regardless of the percent of GDP directed at social expenditure, the key question is one of effectiveness, not size. Do funds directed at social expenditure in Israel improve economic resilience?

For further information, see:

Economic Resilience Index for Evaluating Poverty in Israel

Sources:

M. Bassok, "Taub Center: 2006 economic growth did not reduce social gaps or help the Weak", Haaretz, 11/05/2007