ConclusionThe primary goal of this chapter has been to identify deprived regions and socio-economic groups with regard to household economic resources. Identification of such groups must be considered a prerequisite for implementation of public compensatory measures in other fields in which possession of economic resources is important, like for example health and education. For reasons discussed in this chapter's introduction, the main indicator for measuring differences in household economic resources in the survey is a wealth index especially constructed for this purpose. The household wealth index shows relative but not absolute differences in the level of household economic resources.
The household wealth index clearly demonstrates that Gaza is the region worst off in the occupied territories. The deprivation of Gaza as a region is, however, closely related to its high share of economically deprived refugees. In particular, refugees living in camps are at a disadvantage compared to other groups, both in Gaza and the West Bank.
Analyzing results on a household level, there is no clear indication that poverty increases with the size of families. Household wealth, as expected, clearly increases with Head of Household education.
Accurate statistical measurement of income levels for households in the occupied territories would require a much larger questionnaire, and possibly extensive application of time-use studies. The section about household income has thus dealt with types of household income rather than the level of household income as such.
Income from labour activity is by a wide margin the most important type of household income. It is frequently also the only income type received by the households. Gaza has the lowest regional share of households receiving income from labour activity. It is reasonable to believe that lower labour activity in Gaza than in the West Bank and Arab Jerusalem is one of the major explanations of Gaza's low score on the household wealth index. Taking the importance of employment as a source of household income into consideration, providing employment for deprived groups is probably the most cost-effective remedy available if one wishes to correct the present economic inequalities in the occupied territories.
As to recent developments in household economic resources in the occupied
territories, two out of three households report a decline in their income
since the Gulf war. The share of households that report a reduction is highest
among the groups already worst off (Gaza and refugee camps).