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State Age Protection Laws and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

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  • Joanna Lahey

Abstract

Some anti-discrimination laws have the perverse effect of harming the very class they were meant to protect. This paper provides evidence that age discrimination laws belong to this perverse class. It 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 than in others. After the enforcement of the federal law, white male workers over age 50 in states where the federal government allowed 300 days to file a discrimination complaint worked between 1 and 1.5 fewer weeks per year than did workers in states without laws. These men were also .3 percentage points more likely to be retired and .2 percentage points less likely to be hired. 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Joanna Lahey, 2006. "State Age Protection Laws and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-24, Center for Retirement Research, revised Nov 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2006-24
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    File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/working-papers/state-age-protection-laws-and-age-discrimination-in-employment-act/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, November.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Thomas DeLeire, 2000. "The Wage and Employment Effects of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 693-715.
    5. Gomez-Salvador, Ramon & Messina, Julian & Vallanti, Giovanna, 2004. "Gross job flows and institutions in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 469-485, August.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua D. Angrist, 2001. "Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 915-957, October.
    7. Adams, Scott J., 2004. "Age discrimination legislation and the employment of older workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 219-241, April.
    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, 2006. "Demand for a Jury Trial and the Selection of Cases for Trial," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 119-142, January.
    10. 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, 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Bell, David N.F. & Rutherford, Alasdair C., 2013. "Older Workers and Working Time," IZA Discussion Papers 7546, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. 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.
    7. 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, vol. 34(1), pages 27-44, February.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Courtney C. Coile, 2015. "Economic Determinants Of Workers’ Retirement Decisions," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 830-853, September.
    11. 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.
    12. 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).
    13. repec:eee:joecag:v:1-2:y:2013:i::p:28-34 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    age discrimination; litigation; age protection laws;

    JEL classification:

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

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