Perceptions of Socio-Economic Conditions in Palestine: Evidence from Gallup and World Values Surveys
29 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2016
Date Written: May 4, 2016
This report assesses trends in perceptions, values and opinions of Palestinians regarding socio-economic conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory. Using a set of Gallup World Poll and World Values Survey indicators of Palestinian residents’ perceptions and values, we find that Palestinians’ views of various socio-economic institutions, opportunities and outcomes have been low. Palestinians’ satisfaction with their living conditions, economy and political leadership is low, and lags behind that of residents in other non-GCC Arab countries, particularly before the start of Arab Spring revolutions. The trends in Palestine and in non-GCC countries converge to some degree for a number of indicators in the years following the Arab Spring, reflecting political and economic developments in the Arab region as well as in Palestine. Palestinians’ gloomy sentiments are primarily due to the protracted Israeli occupation accompanied by repressive security and economic policies. These have fueled pessimism in Palestinians’ perceptions of institutions around them, their lives, their rights, and their future opportunities. Restrictions on Palestinians’ mobility, the occupation of large parts of Palestinian territory, the withholding and sapping of public finances, the denial of business opportunities, and the resulting economic deprivation of the majority of Palestinians – all of these undermine Palestinians’ spirit, interest in democratization of their state, and outlook on the future. People’s resentment and hopelessness periodically flare up in civil or cross-border hostilities, thwarting any possibility of normalization and socio-economic progress, and keeping Palestinians in a perpetual deprivation trap. Economic prosperity and social stability in Palestine will prevail only once Palestinians’ human rights, economic opportunities, and trust in government institutions are reestablished. This calls for domestic reforms, strengthening of the balance of checks on power, but most importantly renegotiation of the role of Israeli forces in the occupied territory and enforcement of the new arrangement.
Keywords: Economic perceptions, Gallup World Poll, World Values Survey, Palestine, Israeli occupation
JEL Classification: N35, N45, N95, F51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation