Ethnic Gaps in Higher Education and Earnings Among Second and Third Generation Jews in Israel

Yinon Cohen, Yitchak Haberfeld, Sigal Alon, Oren Heller, Miri Endeweld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper compares ethnic gaps in socioeconomic characteristics between second and third generation Jewish immigrants in Israel. Using administrative data for over one million men and women, 25-43 years old in 2018, the results suggest that the well-documented educational and earnings advantages of Ashkenazim (Jews of European/American origin) over Mizrahim (Jews of Asian/African origin) in the second generation have not narrowed. Indeed, in the case of education,they are even greater in the third generation, especially among men. In both generations, however,ethnic gaps in rates of obtaining an academic degree are smaller among younger birth cohorts,suggesting that the Mizrahi-Ashkenazi gap may have narrowed over time, though not between thesecond and third generation. With respect to earnings, in both generations Ashkenazim earn morethan Mizrahim; the unadjusted gap increases with age, reaching nearly 20% among men aged 43,the oldest age analyzed in this paper. However, this unadjusted earnings advantage for Ashkenazim is entirely due to their advantage in education. Once higher education is controlled for, the earnings of Mizrahim are not lower, and in some cases, are even slightly higher than that of demographically comparable Ashkenazim. Finally, in both generations, those of mixed ethnicity are more similar to Ashkenazim than to Mizrahim with respect to their education and earnings.
Translated title of the contributionפערים אתניים בהשכלה גבוהה ובהכנסה בקרב יהודים בני הדור השני והשלישי בישראל
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-31
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2023

IHP Publications

  • ihp
  • Ashkenazim
  • Conflict of generations
  • Education, Higher
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Ethnic groups -- Israel
  • Ethnic identity
  • Immigrant absorption -- Economic aspects -- Israel
  • Immigrants
  • Income
  • Israel -- Aliyah -- Social aspects
  • Israel -- Emigration and immigration -- Social aspects
  • Mizrahim
  • Social integration
  • Social stratification
  • Wage differentials


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