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Did Age Discrimination Protections Help Older Workers Weather the Great Recession?

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Abstract

We examine whether stronger age discrimination laws at the state level moderated the impact of the Great Recession on older workers. We use a difference‐in‐difference‐in‐differences strategy to compare older and younger workers, in states with stronger and weaker laws, before, during, and after the Great Recession. We find very little evidence that stronger age discrimination protections helped older workers weather the Great Recession, relative to younger workers. The evidence sometimes points in the opposite direction, with stronger state age discrimination protections associated with more adverse effects of the Great Recession on older workers. We suggest that during an experience such as the Great Recession, severe labor market disruptions make it difficult to discern discrimination, weakening the effects of stronger state age discrimination protections. Alternatively, higher termination costs associated with stronger age discrimination protections may do more to deter hiring when future product and labor demand is highly uncertain.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:33:y:2014:i:3:p:566-601
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.21762
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kadija Charni, 2016. "The French Pension Reforms and their Impact on Unemployed Older Workers," AMSE Working Papers 1602, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France, revised Jan 2016.
    2. 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.
    3. Sarah Le Duigou & Pierre-Jean Messe, 2017. "Pension reforms, older workers' employment and the role of job separation and finding rates in France," TEPP Working Paper 2017-10, TEPP.
    4. David Neumark, 2016. "Experimental Research on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Trevisan, Elisabetta & Zantomio, Francesca, 2016. "The impact of acute health shocks on the labour supply of older workers: Evidence from sixteen European countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 171-185.
    6. Button, Patrick & Walker, Brigham, 2019. "Employment Discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 12131, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. David Neumark & Maysen Yen, 2018. "Relative Sizes of Age Cohorts and Labor Force Participation of Older Workers," Working Papers wp390, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    8. repec:bla:econpa:v:35:y:2016:i:4:p:375-388 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Fleck, Robert K. & Hanssen, F. Andrew, 2016. "Persistence and change in age-specific gender gaps: Hollywood actors from the silent era onward," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 36-49.
    10. Neumark, David & Button, Patrick, 2014. "Age discrimination and the Great Recession," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    11. repec:spr:jlabre:v:39:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s12122-018-9272-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:aea:jeclit:v:56:y:2018:i:3:p:799-866 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

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