DP202 The Structured Dependency of the Elderly: A Critical Note

Author(s): Paul A Johnson
Publication Date: November 1987
Keyword(s): Britain, Old Age, Pensions, Retirement, Structured Dependency
JEL(s): 918, 921
Programme Areas: Human Resources
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=202

This paper examines the viewpoint that the dependency of elderly people in modern Britain has been increased by state action and social change. It argues that ideas of "structured dependency" are based upon theoretical premises which promote a one-sided reading of the evidence. An analysis of the changing composition of the income of the elderly population shows that the fall in the labour force participation of older people and the increased importance of state pension income has not led to the marginalization of the elderly, but has instead promoted increased financial independence and consumer power.