Chapter

Why is ageing so unequal?

Alan Walker

in Unequal ageing

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9781847424129
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304098 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847424129.003.0007
Why is ageing so unequal?

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In this chapter, the author enumerates multiple causes that combine to produce cumulative negative outcomes in old age. Prior life course is the primary determinant of the unequal structure of income and wealth between different groups of older people. Inequality is also attributed to ‘natural’ or inherited differences between human beings. This has been exacerbated by huge disparities in occupational and personal pensions, along with the unfair tax breaks they generate for the better-off. Another important cause of unequal ageing, which interacts with other factors, especially occupational class, is health. This chapter argues that the long-term nature of the problem and Britain's poor performance in international terms suggest that unequal ageing is not the fault of one particular government but a systemic failure.

Keywords: old age; life course; wealth; inequality; unequal ageing; health; pensions

Chapter.  6796 words. 

Subjects: Gerontology and Ageing

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