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Top Israeli minds increasingly being driven abroad – study… that… and some other stuff! :/

“Just as I’m about to bring the greatest scientific discovery in human history to Israel! 😀
This needs to be solved (more so than absurd in fighting politics)… the other aspect to this is STEM education. Invest in STEM education! Israel cannot lose it’s place as a technological powerhouse of innovation.”

“Of course we want ‘some’ of Israel’s best minds to ’emigrate’ 😉 abroad!”

Top Israeli minds increasingly being driven abroad – study

Only a small sector of Israel’s population – under 130,000 Israelis – are keeping the economy, healthcare system and its academic bedrock among the leaders of the developed world.

Israel’s brightest brains are increasingly being driven abroad, spurred by flagging labor productivity and the high cost of living, a Shoresh Institution study published Thursday revealed.

As Israel’s labor productivity falls further behind leading developed countries; as the income tax burden is increasingly placed on educated parts of the population; and as living costs continue to rise far beyond other countries, Israel’s ability to retain its most skilled citizens is declining.

“The fragile size of this group means that emigration by a critical mass out of the total – even if only numbering several tens of thousands – could generate catastrophic consequences for the entire country,” said Ben-David.

Giving cause for concern, Israel’s population increased by 24% between the decades 1995-2005 and 2006-2016, but the number of Israelis receiving American citizenship or Green Cards increased by 32% during the same period.

The study also revealed that for every Israeli with an academic degree who returned to Israel from abroad in 2014, 2.6 Israeli academics emigrated. This increased to 4.5 emigrants per returnee by 2017.

The total number of Israelis practicing medicine in other OECD countries in 2006 was 9.8% of all Israeli physicians. The total of physicians abroad increased to 14% by 2016.

Pushing educated Israelis to search for employment elsewhere is a combination of falling labor productivity, slipping further behind leading developed countries, and the country’s relatively high consumer prices.

Both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem feature among the five most expensive cities in the OECD to buy a home.

“While the overall emigration numbers are still relatively small when compared to Israel’s total population, the bite that they take out of the most educated segments of society – those that keep Israel a part of the developed world – is not inconsequential,” said Ben-David.

“In light of the breadth, depth and the direction of the emigration from Israel, a serious solution to the problem requires much more than the ineffectual symptomatic assistance at individual levels that has been implemented until now. A sharp pivot in national budgetary priorities is needed,” he said.

The Shoresh Institution’s findings also suggest that the better the institution of higher learning, the greater the emigration rate of its graduates.

Approximately 5% of graduates with degrees in sciences and engineering from non-research colleges have lived abroad for the past three or more years, compared to about 4% from social sciences and humanities fields. This figure, however, rises to 9.2% among sciences and engineering graduates from Israel’s top research institutions.

Demonstrating the impact of emigration on Israeli academia, the number of Israelis teaching at the economics and computer science departments of the top 40 American universities could fill almost two additional Israeli departments in each field.

In the case of the top American business schools, Israeli academics teaching there could fill nearly three-and-a-half Israeli business schools.

“The extent of emigration, the direction of the trend, and the direction that all of Israel – a country that needs to remain sufficiently attractive to those who are very sought after by other countries – is headed, should ring alarm bells in all of the corridors that determine Israel’s national priorities,” Ben-David said, issuing a warning to the next Israeli government.

Providing necessary tools, including education, and suitable conditions to much wider swaths of the population, he said, would enable Israel to bring down poverty rates and raise the country’s economic growth.

Including a larger share of Israel’s skilled population in the economy would lead to significantly steeper growth, and Israelis would increasingly remain at home and even start returning from abroad in greater numbers.

Israel Faces Brain Drain as More Educated Citizens Leave Country

By Ivan Levingston ‎30‎ ‎May‎ ‎2019‎ ‎04‎:‎00‎ ‎BST

  • Graduates of best schools most likely to leave, study finds
  • Israel needs to change priorities, stress education: study

The most educated Israelis are leaving the country in increasing numbers, according to a new study from the Shoresh Institution for Socioeconomic Research.

In 2017, 4.5 persons with an academic degree left Israel for each one who returned from abroad, with graduates from better institutions leaving at higher rates, the study found.

“While the overall emigration numbers are still relatively small when compared to Israel’s total population, the bite that they take out of the most educated segments of society – those that keep Israel a part of the developed world – is not inconsequential,” said Dan Ben-David, who heads the institution.

The U.S. is a sought-after destination for Israel’s emigrants. Between the decades of 1995-2005, and 2006-2016, the number of Israelis getting U.S. citizenship or permanent residency outpaced population growth in Israel by one-third.

The number of tenured or tenure-track Israelis in the computer science, business and economics departments at top 40 American universities were all above 20% of senior faculty in equivalent fields at Israeli universities.

Israel needs to change budget priorities to provide education and infrastructure for larger parts of the population, the study argued.

“The extent of emigration, the direction of the trend, and the direction that all of Israel – a country that needs to remain sufficiently attractive to those who are very sought after by other countries – is headed should ring alarm bells in all of the corridors that determine Israel’s national priorities,” Ben-David said.

Israel’s Brain Drain is Getting Worse, Says New Report

In 2014, for every person with an academic degree that returned to Israel, 2.6 such people left. By 2017, the number of negative emigrants rose to 4.5 to each person returning, a 73% increase

Shahar Ilan 16:4130.05.19

Israel’s brain drain problem is getting worse, according to a new study published Thursday by Dan Ben-David of the Shoresh Institute for Socioeconomic Research. The study looks at the trends and underlying determinants of academics and skilled professionals leaving Israel—and its conclusions are a cause for concern.

According to Ben-David, Israel is in a uniquely precarious position because out of a population of almost 10 million, only a small group of people, less than 130,000, are keeping the country’s economy, healthcare system, and “underlying university bedrock near the pinnacle of the developed world.” For example, while only 2.7% of people employed in the public sector are in tech manufacturing fields, in 2015 they accounted for 40.1% of all Israeli exports.

The Technion Israel Institute of Technology. Photo: Technion

The Technion Israel Institute of Technology. Photo: Technion This is the same group that enables Israel to keep its competitive militaristic edge in a hostile area, Ben-David added. Therefore, the emigration of even several tens of thousands of people could be catastrophic to Israel’s future. According to the study, in 2014, for every person with an academic degree that returned to Israel, 2.6 such people left. By 2017, the number of negative emigrants rose to 4.5 to each person returning, a 73% increase. Furthermore, it is the best-educated that tend to seek their fortune elsewhere—”the better the institution of higher learning, the greater the emigration rate of its graduates,” according to the author. Engineering or STEM graduates are more likely to emigrate than social studies or humanities graduates: 9% compared to 7% (of those graduating universities and not colleges). This is especially dire considering Israel had the lowest number of medical school graduates per capita among all OECD countries in 2016, as due to local educational limitations more and more are earning their degrees abroad, and staying there. Between 2006 and 2016, the number of Israeli physicians practicing outside of Israel rose from 9.8% to 14%. When it comes to academics, the number of Israelis in tenured or tenure-track positions in top 40 academic departments in the U.S., meaning top minds that are unlikely to return to Israel, is also disproportionally high. In the chemistry field, as of January 2019, they equaled 10% of all the faculty members in Israel’s research universities. In Physics, they equaled 11%. In computer science and economics they equaled 21% and 23%, respectively. In business, the number was as high as 43%. While a major draw of American universities are the higher salaries and research grants they offer, another issue is Israel’s relatively high consumer prices compared to OECD countries. Household final consumption prices in Israel are 28% higher than in the U.S. and 66% higher than the OECD average, according to Ben-David.

Israel’s labor productivity stagnation, its increasing income tax burden on the educated population, and its rising living costs all threaten the country’s ability to “to retain its most skilled citizens,” Ben-David wrote. And while the number of emigrants may be objectively small, it disproportionally affects the most educated groups, those who help keep Israel at the technological front. To overturn the tides, according to Ben-David, a “sharp pivot in national budgetary priorities” is required. That includes investment in education and infrastructure for minorities in Israel, actions that will, in turn, increase the productivity of much of Israel’s working population.

Brain-drain: More High-tech Workers, Doctors, Academic Researchers Leaving Israel

New study shows that Israel’s most educated citizens are leaving at a growing pace, which ‘could have catastrophic consequences for Israel’

Israel’s most educated citizens, and those with the most crucial skills, are moving abroad at a growing pace, says economist Prof. Dan Ben-David in a new study.

Ben-David warns that his findings should worry Israel’s decision makers, as government policy is pushing away the people that Israel needs, instead of incentivizing them to stay or to return home.

The research, being published by the Shoresh Institution for Socioeconomic Research, focuses on three groups: academic researchers, doctors and high-tech workers. In Israel there are fewer than 130,000 of these people in total, meaning they account for only 1.4% of the population. Yet they are the workers who give Israel’s economy its edge, warns Ben-David.

“Due to the small size of this group, a critical mass of them moving abroad, even if we’re talking about a few tens of thousands of people, could have catastrophic consequences for Israel,” he says.

Ben-David, who is president of the Shoresh Institution and a lecturer at Tel Aviv University, has conducted previous research on Israel’s brain drain. Ben-David’s research has focused on Israeli immigration to the United States, where the universities are considered the world’s best.

Previously published statistics have shown that a large number of Israeli academics reside in the United States temporarily, for instance to complete post-doctorates. For his latest research, Ben-David spoke with hundreds of Israeli researchers who have tenure or are working toward tenure in the United States.

In his latest study, Ben-David reviewed the academics at 40 leading departments at U.S. universities, in six different fields: chemistry, physics, philosophy, computer science, economics and business. He ranked the departments by the average number of citations per faculty member.

Ben-David found that in leading U.S. university departments for chemistry, physics and philosophy, the number of Israeli researchers was equal to 10% to 13% of the total number of senior Israeli faculty members in such departments in Israel.

In other fields, the number of expat Israelis relative to their counterparts in Israel was even higher. In leading U.S. computer science departments, the number of Israeli faculty members was equal to 21% of the total number in Israel; in economics departments, the figure was 23%, and in business departments, it was 43%.

“There are some leading business departments in the U.S. with a double-digit number of Israeli faculty members,” writes Ben-David.

The different percentages stem from differences in salaries, he says. In fields such as computer science, economics and business management, U.S. private sector salaries are relatively high, so U.S. universities offer faculty members high salaries in order to compete. Israel’s public universities, by contrast, offer identical pay to faculty members regardless of their field, Ben-David explains. Salary gaps between Israel and the United States grow the more educated the employee is, not just for university researchers, Ben-David notes.

If all the senior Israeli faculty members were to return from the United States, they would fill nearly two local economics faculties, two computer science faculties, and more than three business management faculties, he says.

Israel actually hasn’t seen a significant wave of outward migration over the past few years. In 2016, the last year for which Central Bureau of Statistics data is available, Israel had 15,200 citizens moving abroad – defined as leaving the country and staying abroad for at least a year – the lowest number since the early 1990s. The figure works out to 1.8 citizens expatriating for every 1,000 Israeli residents.

Some 26% of the people who left that year were new immigrants who arrived in 2006 or later.

On the other hand, some 8,900 Israelis returned to Israel in 2016 after spending at least a year abroad, not counting visits home of up to three months. Some 42% of these people were former immigrants who had later left Israel for a year or more.

While Israeli society as a whole hasn’t seen an increase in emigration, Ben-David is worried by the departure of Israel’s most educated. Central Bureau of Statistics data shows that in 2017, some 4.5 Israelis with academic degrees left the country for every one who returned.

It also emerges that Israel’s best universities create the largest percentage of expatriates. For instance, among people who received a degree at a teaching college between the years of 1980 and 2010, only 1.8% left Israel (defined as living abroad for at least three years). Of those who completed university degrees in social sciences and humanities, some 6.7% moved abroad. Those with degrees in science and engineering, the figure was 9.2%.

“These are the most crucial people for Israel’s future,” says Ben-David.

Another worrying figure is the growing number of Israeli doctors abroad. Israel lacks the resources to train enough doctors, so a growing number of Israelis interested in the field go to study abroad, and many don’t come back.

The number of Israeli doctors in other OECD nations has been steadily growing over the past few years, both in absolute terms and relative to the number of doctors in Israel. The number of Israeli doctors abroad was equal to 9.8% of the figure in Israel as of 2006, and 14% as of 2016.

In the United States alone, there were some 3,500 Israeli doctors as of 2016. In terms of absolute numbers, only the U.K., Canada and Mexico have more citizens working as doctors in the United States. These three countries have way more citizens than Israel does.

Ben-David blames Israel’s national priorities as being responsible for pushing its most educated citizens abroad. “Incentives aren’t enough to halt the brain drain out of a country that’s marching away from the developed world,” he said. There are several factors: Low salaries; low labor output; the high cost of living, particularly housing; the high taxes on the top two deciles, which are nearly double the rate in the United States.

The problem is particularly acute for Israelis with doctorates. Israelis who complete a doctorate and want to find work at one of the country’s universities need to complete a post-doctorate abroad. After spending several years abroad, many find that there are no workplaces available for them at home, and in any case the conditions abroad are better.

Some 11% of people who completed a doctorate at an Israeli institution live abroad; the figure is 24.2% for those with a doctorate in math; 20% for computer sciences and 17.5% for pharmaceutical sciences.

With reporting by Lior Dattel

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