Monday, January 30, 2017

Suburban Lawn or Penthouse Garden?

Yair Assaf-Shapira
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

According to World Bank statistics, Israel’s population density is among the highest in the world (387 residents per square kilometer on average). We also live in one of the most urbanized countries in the world, with 91% of the population residing in urban areas.

One might expect, therefore, that construction in Israel would be characterized by high density and high-rise buildings, so as to conserve space. But the Central Bureau of Statistics’ data on construction starts indicate that this is not necessarily the case. Until 2009-2010, most of the housing units being built in Israel formed part of low-rise buildings with 1-4 stories (52% in 2009-2010). Of this low-rise construction, a large majority were not buildings of 3-4 stories but, rather, 1-2 stories – that is, detached or semi-detached ground-level homes, which constitute 80% of the low-rise construction in Israel.

The good news is that the scope of low-rise construction (1-4 stories) is declining. During the years 2014-2015 such construciton accounted for only 38% of Israel’s housing units, compared with a figure of 20% for buildings containing 5-8 stories and 42% for buildings with 9 or more stories. In 2014-2015, high-rise construction (9 or more stories) surpassed low-rise construction (1-4 stories) for the first time. Yet as noted, the vast majority (80%) of low-rise construction still comprises detached and semi-detached ground-level homes (1-2 stories), and this figure remains constant. Of the housing units constructed in Israel during 2014-2015, 31% were such ground-level dwellings.

And what about metropolitan centers? Evidently there is a similar trend – construction rates for housing units in high-rise buildings are increasing while the rates for low-rise construction are decreasing. In Jerusalem the proportion of low-rise construction (1-4 stories) for 2014-2015 was 26%, and for high-rise construction (9 or more stories) the figure was 47%. In Jerusalem high-rise construction surpassed low-rise construction for the first time in 2008-2009 – that is, Jerusalem was 6 years ahead of Israel as a whole. But Tel Aviv outpaced Jerusalem. In the core areas of metropolitan Tel Aviv (Tel Aviv – Yafo itself and adjacent cities) high-rise construction surpassed low-rise construction as early as 2003-2004, that is, 5 years before Jerusalem and 11 years before Israel.

Even in the metropolitan cities – Jerusalem and the metropolitan core of Tel Aviv – a high percentage of low-rise construction comprises detached and semi-detached ground-level homes. In Jerusalem such dwellings constituted 40% of all low-rise construction during 2014-2015 (and 11% of all construction), and in the core of metropolitan Tel Aviv they accounted for 54% of all low-rise construction (and 7% of all construction). Presumably there is a demand for suburban-style ground-level homes in cities as well, and perhaps the thinking is that building such units will attract a “high-quality” populace. But this type of construction might not be suitable for a country as densely populated as ours.

Translation: Merav Datan

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A post about Postdoc

Lior Lehrs
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

The term “postdoctoral” (or “postdoc”) refers to the period of study and independent research that follows the receipt of a doctoral degree (PhD) – an important stage in academic life. This period might last anywhere from one to several years. A 2010 survey by the Central Bureau of Statistics (“Career Survey of PhD graduates”) revealed that one-third (33%) of PhD graduates in Israel pursued postdoctoral studies. Among men with PhDs, 35% pursued postdoctoral studies, compared with 31% of women. The highest percentage of postdoctoral scholars were recorded in the physical sciences, mathematics, statistics, and computer science (33%), followed by the biological sciences (33%). A total of 11% of postdocs were in the social sciences and law, and 9% in the humanities.
The survey also indicates that nearly half of Israeli postdocs (48%) completed their postdoctoral studies in the United States, compared with 32% in Israel and about 3% in England. Almost half of the women postdocs completed their postdoctoral studies in Israel (48%), whereas among men the figure was only 23%. A review of postdoctoral studies by field of study reveals a significant difference between men and women. In the physical sciences, mathematics, statistics, and computer science most of the postdocs were men (75%), while in the humanities most were women (58%). In the social sciences and law the distribution was 60% men and 40% women.
In 2014 the Central Bureau of Statistics in cooperation with Israeli universities collected data regarding PhD graduates enrolled in postdoctoral studies in Israel during that year. A total of 58% were Israeli postdocs and 42% were foreign. The academic institute with the highest percentage of postdocs in 2014 was the Weizmann Institute (29%), followed by the Hebrew University (21%) and Ben-Gurion University (13%). Among Israelis half were men, while among foreigners 70% were men. These data reinforce what the 2010 survey found: women, more than men, tend to pursue postdoctoral studies in their home countries. Among postdocs in Israel, 42% were 35 years old or younger, and 51% were in the 36-45 age range. In 2014 the highest percentages of postdocs in Israel were in the biological sciences (27%) and physical sciences (26%), followed by mathematics, statistics, and computer science (9%), and engineering and architecture (9%).
Many in Israel are concerned that postdoctoral scholars will remain abroad rather than return to Israel. The 2010 survey by the Central Bureau of Statistics reveals that 10% of PhD graduates who received their degrees between the academic years 1984-85 and 2007-08 resided abroad for three or more years. Among these the highest percentages were PhD graduates in mathematics (21%) and computer science (18%). In general it appears that among PhD graduates in the hard sciences, a higher percentage remain abroad for three or more years (14%) than among PhD graduates in the social sciences and humanities (4%). Among PhD graduates in the hard sciences and engineering, the percentage who remained abroad for a long time is higher for graduates of the Weizmann Institute (19%) and the Technion (17%), followed by graduates of the Hebrew University (14%). Among PhD graduates in the social sciences and humanities, the percentage who remained abroad for a long time is higher among graduates of the Technion (6%) and Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University (5%).

Translated by Merav Datan

Monday, January 9, 2017

Respect Their Authority

Omer Yaniv
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

Police data show that during the year 2014, the number of events requiring a police response in the Jerusalem District totaled 225,000, a 15% rise from 2012. During these years, a rise of 8% was recorded in the number of calls to the police emergency number 100 in Jerusalem. These calls include quarrels among neighbors and noise complaints. Criminal felonies, on the other hand, have dropped by 17% during the same years, from 5,722 in 2012 to 4,746 in 2014.
Crime, so it seems, does not reign the streets of the capital, but that's not how the residents see it. In the Social Survey conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics, respondents were asked about their trust in the police and about their experience with crime and public order issues. In most subjects, residents of Jerusalem replied that they witnessed illegal activities in higher percentages than did the residents of Tel Aviv and Haifa, and in higher percentages than the national average.
A quarter of Jerusalem's residents said that they witnessed cases of property destruction or vandalism – more than the national average at 19%, as well as the figure in Tel Aviv and Haifa. Fourteen percent of the respondents from Jerusalem said that they have seen drug users or dealers in the city, slightly higher than the national average. Hate-crimes were also reported by Jerusalemites in higher percentages than in Haifa and Tel Aviv. quarrels among neighbors, as opposed to the above, were reported at a slightly lower percentage in Jerusalem (17%), than in Tel Aviv (18%) or Haifa (19%). Inappropriate conduct or drunkenness was reported by 18% of Jerusalem residents, compared with 22% of residents in Tel Aviv and 20% in Haifa.
Considering these data, one can understand why only 32% of Jerusalem's residents replied positively when asked whether they trust the police, compared with 40% in Tel Aviv, and 51% in Haifa.

Sources: Central Bureau of Statistics - Social Survey 2014
Israel Police Statistical Yearbook