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המרכז לפנסיה, ביטוח ואוריינות פיננסית
The Pensions, Insurance and Financial Literacy Research Center (P.I.F)

People


Prof. Avia Spivak

 

Prof. Avia Spivak is Chairman of The Center for Pension, Insurance and Financial Literacy. Prof. Spivak is Professor of Economics in the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, as well as a senior fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. He served as a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel during 2002-2006 and headed the Research Department. He served as Chair of the Economics Department and Dean of The Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, as well as the president of the Israeli Law and Economics Association.

 

Prof. Spivak is one of our prominent researchers in Israel in the field of pensions; he has published many reviews and articles in terms of the reforms carried out in Israel, including suggestions for future changes.

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Prof. Rami Yosef

 

Prof. Rami Yosef is a Full Professor of Finance and Actuarial Science, and the Head of the Insurance and Finance specialty in the Department of Business Administration at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Until recently he searved as Chair of the Department of Business Administration at the BGU.

Prof. Yosef graduated from the University of Haifa in 1999, receiving his PhD in actuarial science and finance. He also has a diploma in actuarial techniques from City University London and a post-graduate certificate in actuarial science from the University of Haifa. His research specialties include finance, actuarial science, and pension insurance.

Prof. Yosef is considered an expert in actuarial science and has provided expert opinions on actuarial and financial matters in legal disputes. In addition, he has served as a consultant to the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Israel, insurance companies, financial entities, pension funds, and law firms.

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Prof. David Leiser

 

Prof. David Leiser is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He holds a BSc in Mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and completed his PhD in Psychology at the University of Geneva. He specializes in Economic Psychology and serves as President of the Economic Psychology Division of the International Association for Applied Psychology (IAAP).

Prof. Leiser’s principal research focus is Financial Decision Making, with an emphasis on investigating how lay people understand economic issues and related phenomena. Such studies aim to be informative in their efforts to improve financial literacy, and to enhance communication with the public by the authorities and financial institutions for everyone’s benefit. Prof. Leiser served as Head of the Psychology Department at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Until recently he headed the International Association for Research in Economic Psychology; he founded the Decision Making and Economic Psychology Center at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (DMEP).

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Dr. Yarron Lahav

 

Dr. Yarron Lahav is a finance lecturer in the Department of Business Administration at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His research is mainly based on behavioral and experimental finance, expectations formation, and decision making. In addition, Yaron also specializes in transfer prices.

Yaron has a PhD in Economics from Emory University in the USA and a B.Sc.(Agr.) in Agricultural Economics and Management from the Faculty of Agriculture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Yaron teaches and has taught various Finance courses in Israel and overseas, including Basics of Finance, Corporate Finance, Behavioral Finance, and Public Finance. He has been a visiting lecturer at several universities around the US, including the University of Michigan, Brandeis University, and the American University.

Yaron worked as a senior consultant at Deloitte Tax LLP in its central offices in Washington DC, in Deloitte Brightman, Zohar, Almagor in Tel Aviv, as well as consultant to the Urban Institute, an American research institute.

Prior to that Yaron worked as financial officer at Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. and as an economist in an agricultural technological startup company.

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Graduate Students:
 

 

Eyal Carmel

 

Eyal Carmel is a PhD student in the Psychology Department at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Eyal holds a master’s degree in Social Psychology from BGU; he serves as academic coordinator of The Pensions, Insurance, and Financial Literacy Research Center, responsible for the ongoing activity occurring in the center.

As part of his doctoral dissertation, Eyal is studying how personal traits, such as financial literacy and psychological factors, influence financial capability. For his dissertation, Eyal has been granted a study scholarship from the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Financial Literacy Department in the Ministry of Finance.

Eyal teaches introductory courses in psychology and cognitive psychology. In addition, Eyal gives workshops in financial management for youngsters in the non-profit organization Paamonim.

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Sarit Menahem

 

Sarit Menahem is a PhD student in the Department of Economics at Ben-Gurion University of The Negev. Sarit holds a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her MA thesis explored the geographic proximity dependence of rural incomes on standard of living in urban centers. In addition to her being a member of The Pensions, Insurance, and Financial Literacy Research Center, she is a researcher at the Shoresh Institution, which deals with social-economics research, teaching economics and business administration students in the financial field.

As part of her doctoral dissertation, Sarit researches the influence of irrational factors on choosing provident funds, especially from financial media.

Sarit has a rich background in economic journalism – for seven years Sarit worked at The Marker as the deputy editor of the capital market. Her work focused mostly on the capital market and the pension system.

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Roy Mirman

 

Roy Mimran is a PhD student in the Department of Business Administration at Ben-Gurion University of The Negev. He is a graduate of Tel Aviv University in Mathematics and Computer Science (B.Sc.) and has an Executive MBA, with specialization in finance from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he graduated summa cum laude.

Roy’s doctoral dissertation deals with finance and pension. His dissertation is on the lengthening life expectancy and its impact on the pension system, including suggested solutions. Roy researches its impact on the social security system in Israel and its actuarial balance.

Roy chairs the Saving for Retirement Forum – a non-profit organization, which he founded in order to protect the rights of people saving for retirement in Israel. The NPO works with legislators and decision-makers in order to enhance people saving and promotes informational activities designed to increase awareness of the importance of proper savings and their rights. Roy has published several columns about pensions in the national and economic newspapers.

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Nofar Duani

 

Nofar Duani is an MA student in the Department of Economics at Ben-Gurion University of The Negev. Nofar has a BA with distinction in Psychology and Economics; her fields of interest deal with economic psychology and behavioral psychology.

As part of her MA thesis, Nofar examines factors for lack of rationality in demand for apartments and the role of apartments as a commitment device among consumers with difficulties in temperance and restraint.

Nofar is a teaching assistant in the course Introduction to Israel’s economy, macroeconomics, and statistics.

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Sarit Saban

 

Sarit Saban is a PhD student in the Psychology Department at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Sarit holds a master’s degree in Child Clinical Psychology from the Academic College of Tel Aviv–Yaffo, and completaed a BA in psychology and education with distinction at the Tel Aviv University.

 

Sarit has vast therapeutic experience, which includes hospitalization and clinical experiences using cognitive-behavioral and dynamic approaches.

 

Sarit’s research combines clinical and economic psychology in order to recognize the relationship between unadjusted financial behaviors and personality profiles.

   

 

Damian Lemelson

 

Damian Lemelson is an MA student in the Department of Economics at the Ben-Gurion University of The Negev. He has a BA cum laude in economics and psychology from BGU.

As part of his thesis, Damian examines how the public perceives the severance package and if it is perceived as part of the pension savings, as the legislature intended. He also considers the financial implications of this perception.

דמיאן

 

Affiliates of the Center:

 


 

Dr. Rita Troitsky

 

Rita Troitsky is a doctor of Economics and a faculty member in the Shamoon College of Industrial Engineering. Rita completed her PhD at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her dissertation subject was “Government Intervention in Pension Saving”, where she examined the financial traits of those receiving pensions in general and those who continue working after retirement age, in particular. In addition, her study included a theoretical analysis of optimal ways of intervention on the issue of pension savings, investigating the capabilities of various interventions affecting the standard of living of retirees. Her studies include an examination of the implications of a pension extension order on the life of retirees in Israel.

Rita’s current study focuses on behavior analysis of the over-55 population, based on the SHARE survey data, in order to characterize the needs and characteristics of the population approaching retirement age.

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Zeev Kril

 

Zeev Kril is a researcher in the Office of the Chief Economist at the Ministry of Finance. Within his job description, Zeev deals with various topics in Israel’s economy, including aspects of inequality, work productivity, the educational system, and the pension system. His main areas of interest are Nudge Economy, financial psychology, and macroeconomics. Zeev is a graduate of Ben-Gurion University with a BA in Psychology and Economics, and an MA in Economics. Zeev has taught macroeconomics in the Department of Economics at BGU, Achva College, Sapir College, and the College of Management Academic Studies.

As part of his master’s studies, Zeev examined the relationship between public attitudes towards the Bank of Israel and its trust in the bank and its predictions. His work is to be published in the International Journal of Central Banking. In the future he intends to examine the relationship between attitudes and trust even among experts in economics.

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Shachar Zemach

 

Shachar Zemach is an economic adviser at Perlman & Co. Shachar has an MA in Economics and a BA in Economics, Politics, and Government, both from Ben-Gurion University.

Shachar deals with the impact of government policy in the field of pension over income, the inequality and poverty among retirees; he also examines the effect of raising the retirement age, changes in employment rates, and declining yields in the capital market. In his thesis Shachar examined the impact of the mandatory pension reform in Israel on the inequality among retirees, for which he was granted a research fellowship from the National Insurance Institute, which is given to research that helps design the socio-economic policy of the institution.

שחר צמח

Dr. Ravit Rubinshtein‏-Levy

Ravit completed her PhD at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Ravit teaches a variety of courses in finance and her dissertation subject was: “Improving Pension Savings for Unorganized Employees and Pension Decision Making of the Individual”. Her research suggests to inforce mandatory pension, while reducing management fees for unorganized employees through the pooling of pension funds. Based on extensive experiments carried out in the study, the study suggests a way to make the management of pension savings of all employees proactive and effective.

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Dr. Yair Kochav

 

Yair Kochav holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Economics at the Ben-Gurion University of The Negev. Yair has an MA in Economics in a direct route for excellence and a B.Sc. in economics and business administration, both from the Ben-Gurion University.

 

As part of his doctoral dissertation, Yair investigated the possible emergance of a “Dutch disease” due to the high-tech sector in Israel, and looked for possible solution unsing pension savings as a government-backed risk insurance. Yair also studied the relationship between the composition of education in the labor force and macro-economic growth.

 

Yair has worked in the Finance Ministry in several positions and served as a director of the local government debt. In recent years, Yair holds a senior position in a leading insurance company that manages pension and provident funds

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Dr. Elroey Hadad

 
   

Elroey Hadad is a faculty member at the Holon Institute of Technology [H.I.T]. Elroey research interests focus on pension isurance and risk, asset picing and financial markets bhavior.

 

Elroey hold a Ph.D. from the Department of Industrial Engineering at the Ben-Gurion University of The Negev, where he obtained both of his previous degrees.

As part of his doctoral dissertation, Elroey studied the depth of financial markets in Israel. His research is conducted from a macro-financial aspect by means of comparison to other countries that are members of the OECD, as well as in a micro-financial aspect by means of application of statistical methods for estimation and risk premium liquidity premium in the local bond markets.

 

Elroey teaches courses in practical statistics as well as basic and advanced courses in finance at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and at the H.I.T.

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