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Getting grey hairs in the labour market. An alternative experiment on age discrimination

Author

Listed:
  • Baert, Stijn
  • Norga, Jennifer
  • Thuy, Yannick
  • Van Hecke, Marieke

Abstract

This study presents a new field experimental approach for measuring age discrimination in hiring. In addition to the classical approach in which candidates’ ages are randomly assigned within pairs of fictitious résumés that are sent to real vacancies, we randomly assign between these pairs the activities undertaken by the older candidates during their additional post-educational years. When applying this design to the case of Belgium, we find that age discrimination depends fundamentally on the older candidates’ career patterns. Older age only robustly affects call-back if the older candidate was employed in an out-of-field job during his or her extra post-educational years.

Suggested Citation

  • Baert, Stijn & Norga, Jennifer & Thuy, Yannick & Van Hecke, Marieke, 2016. "Getting grey hairs in the labour market. An alternative experiment on age discrimination," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 86-101.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:57:y:2016:i:c:p:86-101
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2016.10.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Alison L. Booth & Andrew Leigh & Elena Varganova, 2012. "Does Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence from a Field Experiment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(4), pages 547-573, August.
    7. Peter A. Riach & Judith Rich, 2010. "An Experimental Investigation of Age Discrimination in the English Labor Market," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 99-100, pages 169-185.
    8. Stijn Baert & Ann-Sophie De Pauw & Nick Deschacht, 2016. "Do Employer Preferences Contribute to Sticky Floors?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 69(3), pages 714-736, May.
    9. Joanna N. Lahey, 2008. "Age, Women, and Hiring: An Experimental Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
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    14. Riach Peter A & Rich Judith, 2006. "An Experimental Investigation of Sexual Discrimination in Hiring in the English Labor Market," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-22, January.
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    16. Stijn Baert, 2014. "Career lesbians. Getting hired for not having kids?," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(6), pages 543-561, November.
    17. Petit, Pascale, 2007. "The effects of age and family constraints on gender hiring discrimination: A field experiment in the French financial sector," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 371-391, June.
    18. Anne Sonnet & Hilde Olsen & Thomas Manfredi, 2014. "Towards More Inclusive Ageing and Employment Policies: The Lessons from France, The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland," De Economist, Springer, vol. 162(4), pages 315-339, December.
    19. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
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    26. Stijn Baert & Elsy Verhofstadt, 2015. "Labour market discrimination against former juvenile delinquents: evidence from a field experiment," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(11), pages 1061-1072, March.
    27. Ali M. Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2013. "Are Gay Men and Lesbians Discriminated against in the Hiring Process?," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 79(3), pages 565-585, January.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Age discrimination; Design of experiments; Field experiments; Difference in Post-Educational Years Problem; Ageing; Hiring discrimination;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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