Critical junctures, labor movements and the development of occupational welfare in Israel

John Gal*, David Bargal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The role of occupational welfare, and in particular that of occupational pensions, has gained growing attention in the study of welfare states in recent years. This article draws on a variety of primary and secondary data and two theoretical models, power resources and path dependency, in order to analyze the emergence of occupational welfare in the Israeli welfare state. In particular, it explores the notion of "critical junctures" and their role in path dependent policies. The article seeks to understand why the role of occupational welfare in Israel is so formidable and to examine the implications of this. Its focus is upon the crucial role that the labor movement played in the formation of this system during a critical juncture in the evolution of the Israeli welfare state. During the 1950s, the Israeli labor movement brought about the establishment of an extensive system of occupational welfare and a social security system for the elderly based primarily upon low universal state benefits and generous voluntary occupational benefits. The legacy of these systems is still very prevalent in the contemporary welfare state and has marked implications both for spending on social spending and the welfare of the elderly.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)432-454
Number of pages23
JournalSocial Problems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2002


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