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Age Discrimination Legislation in the United States

  • David Neumark

Legislation prohibiting age discrimination in the United States dates back to the 1960s, when along with the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act barring discrimination against women and minorities, Congress passed the 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Questions regarding the rationale for and effectiveness of age discrimination legislation are likely to become increasingly important in light of a rapidly aging population in the United States (and other industrialized countries). This article provides a summary, critical review, and synthesis of what we know about age discrimination legislation. It first traces out the legislative history and the evolving case law and discusses implementation of the law. It then reviews the existing research on age discrimination legislation-research that addresses the rationale for the legislation, its effectiveness, and criticisms. (JEL "J"1, "J"7, "L"3) Copyright 2003 Western Economic Association International.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Contemporary Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 21 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (07)
Pages: 297-317

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Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:21:y:2003:i:3:p:297-317
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  1. Hellerstein, Judith K & Neumark, David & Troske, Kenneth R, 1999. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 409-46, July.
  2. Lorne Carmichael, 1981. "Firm-Specific Human Capital and Promotion Ladders," Working Papers 452, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. Ashenfelter, Orley & Card, David, 2001. "Did the Elimination of Mandatory Retirement Affect Faculty Retirement Flows?," IZA Discussion Papers 402, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. David Neumark & Wendy A. Stock, 2001. "The Effects of Race and Sex Discrimination Laws," NBER Working Papers 8215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gary S. Fields & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1984. "Economic Determinants of the Optimal Retirement Age: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(2), pages 245-262.
  6. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
  7. Edward P. Lazear & Robert L. Moore, 1984. "Incentives, Productivity, and Labor Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(2), pages 275-296.
  8. Gokhale, Jagadeesh & Groshen, Erica L & Neumark, David, 1995. "Do Hostile Takeovers Reduce Extramarginal Wage Payments?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 470-85, August.
  9. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  10. repec:fth:prinin:448 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Richard W. Johnson & David Neumark, 1996. "Age Discrimination, Job Separation, and Employment Status of Older Workers: Evidence from Self-Reports," NBER Working Papers 5619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. Macpherson & Melissa A. Hardy, 2000. "Occupational Age Structure and Access for Older Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(3), pages 401-418, April.
  13. Posner, Richard A., 1995. "Aging and Old Age," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226675664.
  14. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  15. Daniel Polsky, 1999. "Changing Consequences of Job Separation in the United States," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(4), pages 565-580, July.
  16. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1981. "Contractual Models of the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 308-13, May.
  17. Michael Schuster & Christopher S. Miller, 1984. "An Empirical Assessment of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(1), pages 64-74, October.
  18. Robert G. Valletta, 1991. "Job Tenure and Joblessness of Displaced Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(4), pages 726-741.
  19. repec:pri:indrel:448 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Breach of Trust in Hostile Takeovers," NBER Working Papers 2342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Peter Cappelli, 2000. "Examining the Incidence of Downsizing and Its Effect on Establishment Performance," NBER Working Papers 7742, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Johnson, Richard W & Neumark, David, 1996. "Wage Declines among Older Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 740-48, November.
  23. Lumsdaine, Robin L. & Mitchell, Olivia S., 1999. "New developments in the economic analysis of retirement," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 49, pages 3261-3307 Elsevier.
  24. David Neumark & Wendy A. Stock, 1997. "Age Discrimination Laws and Labor Market Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 6088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Coate, S. & Loury, G.C., 1992. "Will Affirmative Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Papers 3, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  26. David Neumark & Paul Taubman, 1994. "Why Do Wage Profiles Slope Upwards? Tests of the General Human Capital Model," NBER Working Papers 4688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Loewenstein, George F & Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. "Do Workers Prefer Increasing Wage Profiles?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 67-84, January.
  28. Randall W. Eberts & Joe A. Stone, 1985. "Male-Female Differences in Promotions: EEO in Public Education," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(4), pages 504-521.
  29. Edward P. Lazear, 1982. "Severance Pay, Pensions, and Efficient Mobility," NBER Working Papers 0854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Neumark, David, 1995. "Are Rising Earnings Profiles a Forced-Saving Mechanism?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 95-106, January.
  31. Robert M. Hutchens, 1988. "Do Job Opportunities Decline with Age?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(1), pages 89-99, October.
  32. Garen, John & Berger, Mark & Scott, Frank, 1996. "Pensions, non-discrimination policies, and the employment of older workers," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 417-429.
  33. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 1995. "Are Earnings Profiles Steeper Than Productivity Profiles? Evidence from Israeli Firm-Level Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 89-112.
  34. Frank, Robert H. & Hutchens, Robert M., 1993. "Wages, seniority, and the demand for rising consumption profiles," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 251-276, August.
  35. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 2000. "How Did the Elimination of Mandatory Retirement Affect Faculty Retirement?," Working Papers 827, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  36. Harry Holzer & David Neumark, 1999. "Assessing Affirmative Action," NBER Working Papers 7323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 2002. "Did the Elimination of Mandatory Retirement Affect Faculty Retirement?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 957-980, September.
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