Better Integration in the Labor Market by Responding to Work Motives: Lessons from a Field Experiment among Israeli Ultra-Religious Women
Published: February 2020
Keywords: low-employability; ultra-Orthodox/religious (Haredi); Israel; occupation; motives; job satisfaction; old-age dependency-ratio
JEL classification: D13, D91, I38, J08, J24, Z12
Low employability among specific populations (e.g., religious/traditional women, the elderly, disabled workers, immigrants) has unfavorable consequences on the: unemployed individual, society, and the state economy. The latter include: poverty, a heavy toll on welfare budgets, diminished growth, and an increase in the "dependency ratio". We suggest a rather novel policy (borrowed from the field of Career Psychology) that could lead to successful integration into the labor market of low-employability populations: the design of tailor-made training programs that respond to work motives; coupled with a working environment that caters to special needs/ restrictions; and complemented with counseling and monitoring. The suggested strategy was illustrated and investigated using a case study of Israeli ultra-religious women, who exhibit lower employment rates than other Israeli women. The motives behind their occupational choices were explored based on data collected by a field experiment. Factor Analysis was then employed to sort out the motives behind their occupational choices, and regression analysis was used to associate job satisfaction with work motivation. Policy implications were suggested based on the findings. There is already some evidence on the successful outcomes of the proposed strategy.