Falk Foundation Grants $430, 000 for Economic Research in Israel

A five-year grant, totalling $430, 000 for the dual purpose of initiating a basic economic research program in Israel and, at the same time, fostering an intensive in-service training program to develop competent economists for research and careers in government, teaching, and industry, was announced here today by the Maurice and Laura Falk Foundation of Pittsburgh.

Israel Ambassador Abba Eban, in a statement lauding the Falk Foundation grant, said that “the need for trained economic analysts in Israel is as urgent as the need for immediate scientific findings on the economics of the state.” He pointed out that the “continuity of the economic research program envisioned and planned for by the Falk grant will be of inestimable value to Israel in the development of its long term economic progress. “

Designed to aid the development of the Israeli economy, the research phase of the program made possible by the Falk grant will study and issue reports dealing with the absorption of mass immigration; capital formation and use of savings; the effects of government wage policy on prices, productivity and employment; and labor productivity in agriculture and manufacturing industries.

The training phase of the program will be developed around a corps of selected graduate students from Israeli institutions of higher education who will be given in-service training in the Falk Foundation sponsored economic research program. Travel fellowships for study of methods of economic research and its administration in leading institutions abroad will be alloted to a number of graduate students who complete the intensive in-service training. The object will be to prepare a skilled group of trained economists who can take over similar research responsibilities in Israel in the future.

GRANT INFLUENCED BY BROOKINGS INSTITUTION EXPERT

The Falk Foundation grant was greatly influenced by the recommendations of Dr. A.D.H. Kaplan of the research staff of the Brookings Institution, Washington, D. C. who visited Israel during December, 1952, under a Falk commission to study the value of a program of economic research to guide the development of Israel’s economy. Dr. Kaplan’s report to the Falk Foundation’s Board paid high tribute to the progress made by Israel in its five years of history. “As things now stand,” Dr. Kaplan stated, “Israel is the one center in the Middle East where a free society, in consonance with the ethical code of the Western World, has a foothold.”

Dr. Simon Kuznets, Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the senior research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research in New York City, will make periodic visits to Israel to supervise the programs as project chairman. Dr. Daniel Creamer, lecturer on economics at New York University and a member of the research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research, will serve as director in Israel.

A committee of economists under the chairmanship of Dr. Kaplan will serve as the United States Advisory Committee. It will designate the specific problems to be investigated in the research program, review research outlines and manuscripts, report on the progress of the research to the Falk Foundation, and assist in the placement of those receiving travel fellowships.

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