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Theoretical Inquiries in Law

Editor-in-Chief: Klement, Alon

2 Issues per year

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.319
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.698

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Volume 18, Issue 1


The New Inequality of Old Age: Implications for Law

Anne L. Alstott
Published Online: 2017-02-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/til-2017-0007


Inequality isn’t just for the young anymore. People over age sixty-five face large and growing inequalities in health, wealth, work, and family. The widening gap between better- and worse-off older Americans has begun to undermine legal institutions that once worked to correct inequality, including Social Security, Medicare, private pensions, and family law. In this Article, I briefly document the inequalities that have transformed old age in the last fifty years (or so) and then analyze three common justifications for reform: budget solvency, inequality, and progressivity. I show that each of these falls short of the kind of principled justification that will be needed to justify cutting benefits, raising taxes, or both.

About the article

* Jacquin D. Bierman Professor in Taxation, Yale Law School.

Published Online: 2017-02-10

Published in Print: 2017-01-01

Citation Information: Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Volume 18, Issue 1, Pages 111–124, ISSN (Online) 1565-3404, ISSN (Print) 1565-1509, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/til-2017-0007.

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