DP6338 Soaring Minds: The Flight of Israel’s Economists

Author(s): Dan Ben-David
Publication Date: June 2007
Keyword(s): academic economists, brain drain, Israel, migration, rankings
JEL(s): A11, F22, H52, H83, I23, J31, J61, O15
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics, Labour Economics, Public Economics, International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6338

Despite their small number, Israeli economists have become an important fixture in the international academic scene. In recent years, this phenomenon has been characterized by an additional attribute: the number of Israelis who have chosen to leave the country’s universities - or not to return to them - a process that has brought Israel’s top economics departments to the brink. The elimination of the country from the international research envelope in the future has become a realistic possibility that will impact not only the State of Israel, which stands to lose the most, but the profession in general. This article provides a snapshot of an implosion in progress. It also provides a case study that is important for other countries to understand as some steadily advance toward the Israeli scenario.