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Unemployment Insurance in Israel / תולדות ביטוח האבטלה בישראל

ג'וני גל and John Gal
Social Security (Hebrew edition) / ביטחון סוציאלי
חוברת‎ 38 (סיוון תשנ"ב, יוני 1992), pp. 119-134
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23271385
Page Count: 16
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Unemployment Insurance in Israel / תולדות ביטוח האבטלה בישראל
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Abstract

This paper examines the historical development of unemployment insurance in Israel. During the first two decades of statehood, the Israeli political leadership, in partcular MAPAI, opposed any attempt to introduce unemployment insurance programs. This, despite the fact that a government committee formed in the late 1940's to draw up a plan for the structure of social welfare in Israel had specifically included unemployment insurance in its proposal. It was only following the economic recession in the mid-1960's and the boom that followed the Six-Day War that the first unemployment insurance program was finally adopted. It went into effect at the beginning of 1973. With the rise in unemployment in the 1980's, the number of unemployment insurance beneficiaries grew. Criticism of the program also grew. In early 1991, changes in the law placed limitations upon the size of benefits and limited the rights of various unemployed workers to refuse inappropriate work and still receive unemployment benefits. Different explanations exist for the generally critical approach of Israeli decision makers to unemployment insurance and for the brief period during which this program was supported by decision makers. Some observers cite economic reasons for the changing attitudes; others stress ideological positions. Another explanation stresses the role of the bureaucracy, while a final explanation stresses the political economy.

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