Getting Back on Track: A Working Program for a New Era in Israel

About the Author of the Work Plan


Dan Ben-David, a macro-economist specializing in economic growth, international trade and public policy, completed his doctorate in economics at the University of Chicago under the supervision of Nobel laureate in economics, Robert Lucas.

As a researcher, Ben-David was recently ranked among the 10 most cited (in academic journals) Israeli economists during the years 1990-2000 and is one of a small group of Israeli academic economists who has held the position of Research Fellow concurrently at two of the leading research institutes in Europe and the United States: the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in London, and the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in Cambridge, MA.

As a teacher, Dan Ben-David was the recipient of Tel-Aviv University's "Outstanding Teacher Award" for Social Sciences in 2004.

Alongside his academic work, Ben-David has a regular column on the editorial page of the Haaretz newspaper and has extensive policy-related experience. He served as an advisor to the World Bank and to the Director-General's office of the World Trade Organization on issues of economic growth and international trade. His research in these areas served as a basis for courses given by the World Bank to policy makers from developing countries and was cited in a British government budget proposal a few years ago.

Dan Ben-David is married with three children. The change in his professional focus occurred in 1999, when he internalized the implications of Israel’s long-term trends and the existential danger that they’ll pose in another generation or two. Since then he has been conducting research on the socio-economic paths and has presented various perspectives of this work before the country's prime ministers and the directors-general of their offices, as well as before cabinet ministers, Knesset members, Knesset committees, current and past Israeli National Security Advisors, and many others serving in high-ranking policy-making capacity.

Ben-David headed an interdisciplinary academic team comprising both economists and sociologists which in March 2004 prepared a report titled “A Blueprint for Improving the Employment Situation in Israel”. The report was presented before the Knesset Labor and Welfare Committee and before many other forums, and gained support from both ends of the labor-related public spectrum: the employers’ representatives and the workers’ representatives. Dan Ben-David was a member of the independent ELA committee which prepared the report “A Proposal for Structural Reform of Israel’s Education System”.  The report was presented to the Education Minister and to the Knesset Education Committee in November 2003.  The ELA committee’s proposals comprise the main bulk of recommendations made by the subsequent Dovrat Education Task Force set up by Prime Minister Sharon.  In 2000, Ben-David was a member of a blue-ribbon academic team brought together by Prime Minister Ehud Barak and headed by former Tel-Aviv University president Haim Ben-Shahar.  The team presented its proposals for new national socio-economic priorities before Barak in April 2000 and before a specially-convened cabinet meeting devoted to this issue in May 2000.

In this manner, the Work Plan began to take shape, step by step, one topic after another. Its content is based on Ben David’s works – both his own and in conjunction with colleagues – and is intended to ensure the future of his children and of their generation.

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