On Social Exclusion and Income Poverty in Israel: Findings from the European Social Survey
Although there is a growing awareness for the need to take a multi-dimensional approach to the measurement of poverty, most of the research on poverty in rich countries still relies mainly on a traditional income- or expenditures-based approach. This is also the case in Israel where only a few studies have taken a look at other aspects of poverty such as social exclusion. The goal of this chapter is to measure the extent of social exclusion in Israel and compare the results obtained with those derived from a traditional income-based approach to poverty measurement. Also, an analysis of risk factors for social exclusion in Israel is presented. The empirical analysis is based on the first round of the European Social Survey- 2002, a database which provides several indicators of social exclusion. These indicators are aggregated into a single score, which is a weighted average of the various elementary indicators. The measure of social exclusion of the individuals in the survey is then compared with their income data from the survey, and linked to various factors assumed to have an impact on income poverty and social exclusion. The results, as might have been expected, do not show a strong correlation between income poverty and social exclusion. Still, known risk factors for poverty such as a low level of education, young age, poor health, cultural and religious sectors, and female gender have a strong impact on social exclusion. A cluster analysis reveals the existence of three subgroups in Israel which could be labeled as “rich”, “middle class”, and “poor”. While there is a significant income gap between the “rich” and the other two clusters, when looking at social exclusion the main gap is between the “poor” and the other two clusters. These findings seem to confirm that social exclusion in Israel is a distinct phenomenon that deserves to be measured and addressed in addition to traditional poverty.
KeywordsLabor Market Social Exclusion Poverty Rate Multidimensional Poverty Income Poverty
This Study is a part of a Dissertation research project supervised by Prof. J. Silber and Dr. M. Monnickendam, Bar-Ilan University.
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