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State Age Protection Laws and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

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  • Joanna Lahey

Abstract

This article 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. After the enforcement of the federal law, white male workers over age 50 in states where the federal government allows an easier filing procedure were .2 percentage points less likely to be hired than were workers in states without such laws. They also worked .8-1.3 fewer weeks per year and were .5-.7 percentage points more likely to report being retired, 1.6-1.8 percentage points more likely to report that they are not in the labor force, and 1.6- 3 percentage points more likely to report that they are not employed. 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. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation

  • Joanna Lahey, 2008. "State Age Protection Laws and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 433-460, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:51:y:2008:i:3:p:433-460
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barbara A Butrica & Karen Elizabeth Smith & C. Eugene Steuerle, 2006. "Working for a Good Retirement," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-8, Center for Retirement Research, revised May 2006.
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    6. Adams, Scott J., 2004. "Age discrimination legislation and the employment of older workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 219-241, April.
    7. Burgess, Simon & Lane, Julia & Stevens, David, 2000. "Job Flows, Worker Flows, and Churning," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 473-502, July.
    8. David Neumark & Wendy A. Stock, 1999. "Age Discrimination Laws and Labor Market Efficiency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 1081-1110, October.
    9. Joni Hersch & W. Kip Viscusi, 2004. "Punitive Damages: How Judges and Juries Perform," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 1-36, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Neumark & Joanne Song & Patrick Button, 2015. "Does Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Make It Harder to Get Hired? Revised with Additional Analysis of SIPP Data and Appendix of Disability Laws," Working Papers wp315, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    2. David Neumark & Ian Burn & Patrick Button & Nanneh Chehras, 2016. "Do State Laws Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Reduce Age Discrimination in Hiring? Experimental (and Nonexperimental) Evidence," Working Papers wp349, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    3. Melissa Boyle & Stacy Nazzaro & Debra O’Connor, 2010. "Moral rights protection for the visual arts," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, pages 27-44.
    4. Neumark, David & Song, Joanne, 2013. "Do stronger age discrimination laws make Social Security reforms more effective?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-16.
    5. 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.
    6. Nishimura, Yoshinori, 2016. "Did Government Intervention on Firm’s Employment Policies Have an Effect on the Employment of Elderly Workers?," MPRA Paper 73444, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. David Neumark & Patrick Button, 2014. "Did Age Discrimination Protections Help Older Workers Weather the Great Recession?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(3), pages 566-601, June.
    8. John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn, 2016. "The hiring and employment of older workers in Germany: a comparative perspective
      [Die Beschäftigung und Neueinstellung älterer Arbeitnehmer in Deutschland: Eine vergleichende Perspektive]
      ," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 49(4), pages 349-366, December.
    9. Heywood, John S. & Siebert, W. Stanley, 2009. "Understanding the Labour Market for Older Workers: A Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 4033, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn, 2015. "The German Labor Market for Older Workers in Comparative Perspective," Research Papers in Economics 2015-02, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    11. repec:eee:joecag:v:1-2:y:2013:i::p:28-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Bell, David N.F. & Rutherford, Alasdair C., 2013. "Older Workers and Working Time," IZA Discussion Papers 7546, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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