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Senat Policy Papers: 2001
The Measurement of Poverty and income distribution as Conducted by Israel''s National Insurance Institute

Senat #135, January 2001


The data recently published by Israel's National Insurance Institute (NII) on the number of poor and the increase in the rate of poverty-stricken children do not present an authentic picture of Israeli society. The NII profile is only partial; it stresses poverty among children, a rate influenced by the measurement methodology used, but does not adequately relate to one sector of the population that is unwillingly entrapped in the cycle of poverty resulting from contraction of Israel's labour market. We are referring to the non-Jewish (primarily Arab) sector of Israeli society. In addition, the poverty index employed does not sufficiently differentiate between the working poor and those excluded from the labour market, circumstances that grant the latter greater leisure but may also enable them to reap greater benefits from this situation than do the working poor.

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