From Poor Laws to Pensions: The Evolution of Economic Support for the Aged in England and America

American approaches to old age security-through private means, public assistance, Medicare, and Medicaid-are rooted in the English Poor Law. The contemporary notion that in earlier times families, charity, and local communities cared for the aged is more romantic than historically accurate. Conflict over responsibility, eligibility, and level of support continues to characterize the dilemmas of reform.

Author(s): Jill S. Quadagno

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Volume 62, Issue 3 (pages 417–446)
Published in 1984