Israel Studies Seminar: Hilary Term 2019, Week 8: Quality of Life and Well-being in Israel Today

prof a offer 18 feb

Convener: Professor Yaacov Yadgar

Speaker: Professor Avner Offer (Oxford)


Israel scores very high internationally in the reported happiness of its Jewish inhabitants, and government politicians make much of that survey result. On the face of it there is a paradox: the country does not score high on other quality-of-life indicators and is not an easy place to live in. I will report on the construction and record of quality-of-life indicators more generally, on what they tell us about Israel, on currently ongoing research about well-being in the country, and on how the paradox might be understood and resolved. 


Proffesor Avenr Offer is Chichele Professor of Economic History, University of Oxford, and Fellow of All Souls College, Emeritus. He has written extensively on post-war economic growth, particularly in developed societies, and the challenges that affluence presents to wellbeing. His most recent work is on the strife between neoclassical economics and social democracy, each of them vying to shape the post-war decades. The latest among his many publications are The Challenge of Affluence: Self-control and Well-being in the United States and Britain since 1950 (Oxford University Press, 2006) and, The Nobel Factor: The Prize in Economics, Social Democracy, and the Market Turn (with Gabriel Söderberg, Princeton University Press, 2016).