The greying of the baby boom in the United States: Framing the policy debate

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3 Scopus citations


Issues surrounding the retirement of the large post‐World War II “baby boom” generation in the United States are often framed either in terms of impending intergenerational crisis or as an event to which the United States can gradually adjust. This paper examines these two perspectives as they compete to define US social security policy. It suggests that the intergenerational crisis perspective functions primarily as an ideological argument and strategy for de‐structuring social welfare policy. In contrast, the gradual adjustment perspective provides a stronger basis for planning social security and other policy responses to the ageing of the baby boom. However, it is not informed by a clear social vision and has not, as yet, responded sufficiently to the potential divisiveness which may accompany changing demography. Also, to date, relatively little attention has been paid to the diverse social and economic circumstances of baby boomers and the implications of this diversity for retirement planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-26
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Social Security Review
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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