The Academic Reserve: Israel’s Fast Track to High-Tech Success

22 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2018

See all articles by Gil Baram

Gil Baram

Tel Aviv University

Isaac Ben-Israel

Tel Aviv University

Date Written: October 18, 2018

Abstract

What can explain the phenomenal success of the Israeli high-tech and cyber eco-system? While existing explanations focus on technological units of the Israel Defense Forces– and their important role in developing the skills of their veterans who join the high-tech industry after finishing their military service – we argue that current scholarship has missed the important role of the "Academic Reserve" track in this process. The “Academic Reserve” track is a special program in which the IDF postpones the compulsory military service of a select group of high-school graduates, sending them to get academic degrees before completing their compulsory service.

Moreover, we argue that this program is one of the main reasons why Israel tops the list of nations in the number of science and engineering university degrees in per capita. By focusing on the important role of the “Academic Reserve”, we provide a broader understanding of Israel’s ongoing technological success.

Keywords: Israel; Knowledge Diffusion; Military Service

Suggested Citation

Baram, Gil and Ben-Israel, Isaac, The Academic Reserve: Israel’s Fast Track to High-Tech Success (October 18, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3269147 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3269147

Gil Baram (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel-Aviv, 6997801
Israel

Isaac Ben-Israel

Tel Aviv University ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel-Aviv, 6997801
Israel

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