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Age discrimination in hiring decisions: Evidence from a field experiment in the labor market

Author

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  • Carlsson, Magnus
  • Eriksson, Stefan

Abstract

This paper shows the results of a field experiment in which over 6000 fictitious resumes with randomly assigned information about age (35–70 years) were sent to Swedish employers with vacancies in low- and medium-skilled occupations. We find that the callback rate begins to fall substantially for workers in their early 40s and becomes very low for workers close to the retirement age. The decline in the callback rate by age is steeper for women than for men. Employer stereotypes about the ability to learn new tasks, flexibility, and ambition seem to be an important explanation for age discrimination.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlsson, Magnus & Eriksson, Stefan, 2019. "Age discrimination in hiring decisions: Evidence from a field experiment in the labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 173-183.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:59:y:2019:i:c:p:173-183
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2019.03.002
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Demographic challenge; Age; Gender; Discrimination; Field experiment; Hiring;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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