Abstract: Israel, like other high-income countries, exhibits substantial and rising class disparities in health and mortality. Individuals with high levels of education and income benefit on average from better physical and cognitive health, as well as lower mortality rates. Yet in spite of the importance of socioeconomic disparities for health inequality, this area of research received little attention in Israeli sociological research. As a result, key sociological insights are absent from public and academic discussions on health inequalities and how to reduce them. In this article we first review the causal mechanisms for explaining class-based disparities in health and mortality, emphasizing three theoretical frameworks: health lifestyle theory, the life course approach to health disparities, and the chronic stress paradigm. Second, we provide an empirical review of class-based inequalities in health and mortality in Israel. Lastly, we propose new directions for research on health inequalities in Israel, pointing to underutilized data sources and highlighting patterns and trends unique to Israeli society.
Full paper (in Hebrew) available here