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On Removing "Age" and Especially "Old Age" as a Criterion in Social Programs


  • Michel Grignon
  • Byron G. Spencer


Age, measured as years since birth, is a widely used criterion to determine eligibility for pension, health care and other social benefits. However, keeping age markers fixed ignores large and continuing gains in longevity and health, and can create work incentives (or disincentives) that become increasingly problematic over time; beyond that, age is a poor criterion for access to health care services. Removing age markers and introducing a guaranteed annual income would provide a base on which to rest policies that could be expected to lead to better social outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Michel Grignon & Byron G. Spencer, 2015. "On Removing "Age" and Especially "Old Age" as a Criterion in Social Programs," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 41(3), pages 241-251, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:41:y:2015:i:3:p:241-251

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