Public attitudes towards the welfare state and public policy: The Israeli experience

Nissim Cohen, Shlomo Mizrahi, Fany Yuval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This article provides data and insights into Israeli public opinion about the welfare state and social policy. The study included 940 respondents who reported their attitudes towards various issues related to the welfare state. The study was conducted in spring 2008 prior to the current economic crisis. The findings show that, to a large extent, the Israeli public justifies state intervention in the supply of public services, supports public investment in services related to the welfare state, and recognizes the obligation to support those in need. As for various policy areas, the Israeli public regards education as a top priority, believing that investment in public education is likely to lead to achievements in other areas such as security and health. However, when asked about their willingness to pay more taxes for services related to the welfare state, respondents tended to be less enthusiastic. The research points to a significant gap between the social and economic policies in the past decade and the attitudes of large parts of Israeli society towards the welfare state. We provide possible explanations for that gap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-643
Number of pages23
JournalIsrael Affairs
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2011


  • Israel
  • Public administration
  • Public policy
  • Welfare state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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