States, Labor Markets, and the Future of Old-Age Policy

Edited by John Myles and Jill Quadagno
Book Cover

HC: $84.50
EAN: 978-0-87722-790-8
Publication: Jun 91

Ebook: $86.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-0172-4
Publication: Jun 91

340 pages

Original essays examine how various countries have responded to population aging and increases in national expenditures for the elderly


During the last decade worries about population aging, increases in national expenditures for the elderly, and the trend toward early retirement have aroused new concerns about the future of old-age security. Myles and Quadagno have assembled a collection of original essays that examine how different countries have responded to these issues.

The essays in Part I explore the recent politics of old age in Great Britain, Canada, Poland, Scandinavia, West Germany, France, the Netherlands, Japan, and Australia. They demonstrate that while, during the Reagan and Thatcher era, the United States and Great Britain forged debates about old-age policies around a neo-conservative agenda, other countries facing similar matters followed different paths. In Part II, the authors examine how transformations in labor- market practices are gradually altering the status of older workers and with it our conventional understanding of old age.

The reconstruction of the international division of labor, the shift of employment from goods to services, and the adoption of new, knowledge-intensive technologies are changing the economic and political basis of the organization of old age. As we move toward the next century, these essays provide a starting point for a new generation of studies in the political economy of aging.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Part I: The Politics of Old Age
2. Thatcherism and the New Politics of Old Age – Alan Walker
3. Interest Group Politics and the Future of U.S. Social Security – Jill Quadagno
4. The Reagan Legacy: Privatization, the Welfare State and Aging in the 1990’s – Carroll L. Estes
5. The Politics of Dualism: Pension Policy in Canada – John Myles and Les Teichroew
6. "Considerations of Mere Logic": The Australian Age Pension and the Politics of Means Testing – Sheila Shaver
7. The Politics of Aging in Scandinavian Countries – Fritz von Nordheim Nielsen
8. Aging under Socialism: The Case of Poland – Ewa Morawska

Part II: The Restructuring of Old Age: Older Workers in the Economy
9. International Perspectives on Early Withdrawal from the Labor Force – Anne-Marie Guillemard
10. The Demographics of Age in Labor Market Management – Gösta Esping-Andersen and Harald Sonnberger
11. The Future of Early Retirement: The Federal Republic of Germany – Klaus Jacobs and Martin Rein
12. Retirement in Japan – Toshi Kii
13. Early Retirement: Questions and Speculations – Harold L. Sheppard

14. Epilogue: The "Buffer Years": Market Incentives and Evolving Retirement Policies – James H. Schulz
About the Contributors

About the Author(s)

John Myles is a Professor of Sociology at Carleton University.

Jill Quadagno holds the Mildred and Claude Pepper Chair in Social Gerontology at the Institute on Aging at Florida State University.