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State Age Protection Laws and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

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Author Info

  • Joanna Lahey

Abstract

Some anti-discrimination laws have the perverse effect of harming the very class they were meant to protect. This paper provides evidence that age discrimination laws belong to this perverse class. It exploits an unusual aspect of the policy for enforcement of the federal 1968 Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which made filing an age discrimination claim less burdensome in some states than in others. After the enforcement of the federal law, white male workers over age 50 in states where the federal government allowed 300 days to file a discrimination complaint worked between 1 and 1.5 fewer weeks per year than did workers in states without laws. These men were also .3 percentage points more likely to be retired and .2 percentage points less likely to be hired. These findings suggest that in an anti-age discrimination environment, firms seek to avoid litigation through means not intended by the legislation — by not employing older workers in the first place.

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File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/working-papers/state-age-protection-laws-and-age-discrimination-in-employment-act/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Retirement Research in its series Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College with number wp2006-24.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision: Nov 2006
Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2006-24

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Related research

Keywords: age discrimination; litigation; age protection laws;

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Cited by:
  1. David Neumark & Joanne Song, 2011. "Do Stronger Age Discrimination Laws Make Social Security Reforms More Effective?," Working Papers wp249, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  2. Melissa Boyle & Stacy Nazzaro & Debra O’Connor, 2010. "Moral rights protection for the visual arts," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 27-44, February.
  3. David Neumark & Joanne Song, 2012. "Barriers to Later Retirement: Increases in the Full Retirement Age, Age Discrimination, and the Physical Challenges of Work," Working Papers wp265, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  4. David Neumark & Patrick Button, 2013. "Did Age Discrimination Protections Help Older Workers Weather the Great Recession?," Working Papers wp287, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  5. Bell, David N.F. & Rutherford, Alasdair C., 2013. "Older Workers and Working Time," IZA Discussion Papers 7546, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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