Year: 2019 Source: Social Theory & Health. (2015). 13(3–4), 245–266. SIEC No: 20190076

The insights provided by Gøsta Esping-Andersen’s Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism on the origins and characteristics of social democratic, conservative and liberal welfare states make explicit many of the political and economic structures and processes that can impact on health and create health inequalities. Broad stroke analysis of welfare state differences indicates social democratic welfare states may fare better at promoting health and limiting health inequalities in specific instances. This article builds on Esping-Andersen’s insights to theorize how differences in sectoral power across and within forms of welfare states can shape the resources and supports available to those occupying various social locations during important periods of the life-course. It also specifies the specific health outcomes of special relevance to those situated in vulnerable social locations across the life-course.