ICSEP has regularly undertaken original studies in order to prepare for Israeli policy-makers detailed reform plans. ICSEP laid the groundwork for the successful anti-inflationary policies in the mid-eighties, and for the “privatized” immigrant absorption policies that facilitated the successful integration of the great mass of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. A subsequent reform plan, “Essential Conditions for the Renewal of Growth”, spelled out a number of concrete steps that could have huge effects if implemented. It was presented to the Israel Government under incoming Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in September 1999 and to the Knesset.
A follow-up plan was prepared for Prime Minister Ehud Barak. It updated earlier plans, and provided a detailed analysis of the causes for growing budget deficits and how to cut them. A third plan suggested steps to enhance productivity by correcting grave distortions in the labor market.
ICSEP regularly initiates research projects on major issues of the day.
Some research has also been done in cooperation with other bodies, such as the International Center of Economic Growth (on Political Business Cycles, published in Public Choice, 1992), and the Koret Foundation (on Small Businesses in Israel).
Since 1998, ICSEP has run economics classes at several Israeli high schools in which over 2,000 students have participated.
The courses teach the students basic economic concepts and theories, as well as how economics affects their daily lives and career prospects.
The students also go on at least one field trip to an Israeli enterprise.
The only Israeli university students who study market economics are those majoring or minoring in Economics, and even they mostly study economic techniques, not philosophy.
Since 2000, ICSEP has offered a seminar at Tel Aviv, the Hebrew, and Ben-Gurion universities entitled “The Free Market and its Critics” based on Milton and Rose Friedman’s Free to Choose book and films.
ICSEP periodically brings leading foreign experts to Israel to share their knowledge and experiences.
ICSEP’s distinguished guests have included Nobel laureates, senior diplomats, Supreme Court judges, renowned editors and prominent businessmen.
ICSEP organizes seminars and conferences for decision-makers on such topics as deregulation, privatization, tax and capital market reform, immigrant absorption, housing, small business development, and pension fund, labor market and healthcare reform.
Attended by thousands and discussed in hundreds of media items, ICSEP seminars have profoundly affected public discourse on economics in Israel.
ICSEP serves as a clearinghouse of economic expertise, knowledge and resources and as a facilitator for groups and organizations such as the Israel Chambers of Commerce, universities, the Israel Supreme Court’s Institute for Judicial Studies, and the Israel Management Institute.
the Israeli public
In order to expose Israeli readers to a wider range of thinkers and ideas than is available in the mostly one-sided Israeli media, in 2003 we established a website of ideas, Kivunim.
The site features translations of articles from publications such as Commentary, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, The Hoover Review, and National Review.
ICSEP has translated seminal works into Hebrew, such as Milton and Rose Friedman’s Free to Choose and James D. Gwartney and Richard L. Stroup’s What Everyone Should Know about Economics and Prosperity.