Judges preside in court (Illustrative).
(photo credit: ILLUSTRATIVE: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
A new Taub Center for Social Policy study is pushing Israel to adopt "Flexicurity" policies, which make it easy to hire and fire people but provide a strong safety net for workers.
In the study, researchers Dan Ben-David and Liora Bowers compare Israel and several other groups of countries to Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands, which they dub Flexicurity countries due to their policies.
They found that countries employing such policies have higher wages and faster labor productivity growth than Israel, which is near the bottom end of OECD countries for both.
"The requirements for success of the Flexicurity model are flexible labor markets, lifelong learning for employees, active labor market policies and social security systems that provide financial support during transition periods," they found.
To get there, Israel should get rid of policies that make it tough to fire incompetent people and tenure policies, while making it easier for people to move between the public and private sectors.
Improving welfare is also an important component, they found. "Ensuring the continued availability of childcare, which is relatively accessible in Israel – and growing due to the expansion of universal preschool starting age three – is an important contributor to labor market participation.”
Making continued learning a regular part of employment and increasing government-supported career guidance, training and education opportunities would also help.