State Age Protection Laws and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
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.
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