Policies Aimed at Improving Quality of Life Will Slow Down the Brain Drain

In order to contend with the brain drain phenomenon, there is a need for policies that aim to improve the factors that influence Quality of Life in Israel.

In his article in The Marker Omer Moav links between the brain drain phenomenon and Quality of Life in Israel. He argues that the direct tax burden on the upper-middle class in Israel is of the highest in the world. Despite that, Israeli citizens receive relatively little support in return for high taxes in elements such as the environment, education and infrastructure - factors that influence Quality of Life.


Quality of Life stems from the working environment, financial opportunities, social ties and cultural factors that a country offers its citizens. In this context, a gap exists between the level of Human Capital and the number of suitable job opportunities in a relatively small economy such as Israel's. For example: PhD graduates and musicians face a limited number of job opportunities in Israel and often travel abroad to advance their careers.


The Reut Institute identified three main areas that directly affect Quality of Life in Israel and enable a basis for comparison to other countries:

  • Economic well-being reflects the individual's ability to secure financial stability for himself and his family. Factors that determine economic well-being are: material wealth, development of Human Capital, and accessibility to resources.

  • Social well-being reflects the desire and ability of an individual to identify with his community and to play an active role in it. Factors that determine social well-being are: level of trust in the political system, Carrying Capacity, abilities of those in the public sphere, level of protection of individual rights and civil liberties, and social inclusion.

  • Personal-physical well-being reflects the extent to which an individual's life or health is exposed to danger. Factors that determine personal-physical well-being are: threats to personal security, quality of health services, quality of the environment, level of crime, and frequency of car accidents.

Economic growth is a prerequisite to improving Quality of Life but is not sufficient. In order to substantially improve Quality of Life in Israel there is a need for policy aimed at advancing all three areas aforementioned. For example, Israel needs policy that will improve social inclusion, strengthen the trust in the political system and encourage the development of Human Capital.

Sources

Moav, The Marker, 8/22/2007. Full article (Hebrew only)

Sheffski, Haaretz, 8/28/2007. Full article (Hebrew only)

Ben Zeev, Haaretz, 8/28/2007. Full article (Hebrew only)