The Correlates of Household Debt in Late Life

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The chapter is motivated by the rise of household debt in recent decades in Israel, as in most economically developed societies. This phenomenon, spurred by the omnipresent consumer culture and growing use of credit, is evident in the aging population as well as among younger cohorts. Students of consumer society have attributed the fast-growing use of credit in late life to increased longevity and the greater importance the elderly place on material comfort and leisure activities, compared to previous generations. The theoretical framework for this chapter builds on two concepts central to social stratification: consumption and risk. We argue that consumer society and its institutional structure are important driving forces behind the phenomenon of household debt and its “normalization.” While debt has become commonplace, the vicissitudes of late life (e.g., ill health and reduced income) pose new risks and a burden that in some cases may lead to economic ruin.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocioeconomic Inequality in Israel
Subtitle of host publicationA Theoretical and Empirical Analysis
EditorsNabil Khattab, Sami Miaari, Haya Stier
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan US
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781137544810
ISBN (Print)9781137557193, 9781349572885
StatePublished - 2016

RAMBI Publications

  • rambi
  • Consumer behavior -- Israel
  • Debt -- Israel
  • Home economics -- Israel
  • Households -- Israel
  • Socioeconomic status -- Israel


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