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It was in response to the dramatic economic shifts of the 20th century that the institution of private pensions was born. This book considers the rise and growth of this financial support system that commands millions of dollars of investment, and asks why profit-seeking companies pay retirement benefits to those who are no longer in the job. Before 1900 America's elderly survived on a mixture of working if they could, relying on their children, and taking charity. The new industrial economy of the 20th century meant that labour and capital moved away from farms towards large corporate establishments. These markets changed and weakened family links, in response to this workers were offered help through their old age in return for long and loyal service. The book shows how pensions have evolved into a complex institution driven by congressional mandates, judicial decisions, and union campaigns, and explores how modern corporate economies are confronting the challenge of an ageing population.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674945203
ISBN-10: 0674945204
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 155mm x 27mm)
Pages: 344
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 31-Jul-1997
Country of Publication: United States


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Author Biography - Steven A. Sass

Steven A. Sass is Editor of the Regional Review at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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