Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
09:00-10:00 Keynote Address: "The Economic Challenges Facing Israel Today"
Professor Manuel Trajtenberg is currently a member of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament. In the past elections he run as a member of the Labor Party and candidate for Minister of Finance, and was elected to the Knesset in March 2015. Prof. Trajtenberg served as Chairman of the Budgeting and Planning Committee of the Council for Higher Education in Israel from September 2009 through December 2014. From 2006 trough 2009 he was the (first) Head of the National Economic Council at the Prime Minister Office, and chief economic advisor to the Prime Minister.
In August 2011 he was appointed Head of the Government Committee for Social and Economic Change, following the mass protests of the summer of 2011. The Committee issued a thorough report with detailed recommendations on taxes, social services, market competition, the cost of living, and housing, many of which have already been implemented. The report contains also a conceptual discussion of social justice, and of long term economic policies to reflect it.
Trajtenberg has been a Professor of Economics at Tel Aviv University since 1984, obtained his Ph.D. at Harvard University, held visiting positions at Harvard and Stanford University, is a Research Associate of the NBER in Cambridge, USA, and of the CEPR in London, UK, and was a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research. His main research interests are in the economics of innovation, patents, industrial organization, R&D policy, growth and development. Prof. Trajtenberg served as Head of the Science, Technology and the Economy (STE) Program at the Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies, Technion, and as a consultant for the World Bank on R&D and Innovation Policies for Development. Prof. Trajtenberg has published books and numerous articles in leading scientific journals, and is regarded as one of the world leading experts in the field of R&D and Innovation.
Trajtenberg has contributed widely to the formulation of economic and social policy in Israel, including the design of fiscal rules, policies towards the Arab minority and the ultraorthodox, innovation policy, and Higher Education; he also served as advisor to various ministers and to chief scientists at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor.