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Do State Laws Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Reduce Age Discrimination in Hiring? Experimental (and Nonexperimental) Evidence

Listed author(s):
  • David Neumark

    (University of California-Irvine)

  • Ian Burn

    (University of California-Irvine)

  • Patrick Button

    (Tulane University)

  • Nanneh Chehras

    (University of California-Irvine)

We provide evidence from a field experiment — a correspondence study — on age discrimination in hiring for retail sales jobs. We collect experimental data in all 50 states and then relate measured age discrimination — the difference in callback rates between old and young applicants — to variation across states in antidiscrimination laws offering protections to older workers that are stronger than the federal age and disability discrimination laws. We do a similar analysis for nonexperimental data on differences across states in hiring rates of older versus younger workers. The experimental evidence points consistently to evidence of hiring discrimination against older men and more so against older women. However, the evidence on the relationship between hiring discrimination against older workers and state variation in age and disability discrimination laws is not so clear; at a minimum, there is not a compelling case that stronger state protections reduce hiring discrimination against older workers. In contrast, the nonexperimental evidence suggests that stronger disability discrimination protections increase the relative hiring of older workers.

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File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp349.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center in its series Working Papers with number wp349.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2016
Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp349
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Web page: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/papers/
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  2. Riach, Peter A. & Rich, Judy, 2006. "An Experimental Investigation of Age Discrimination in the French Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 2522, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. David Neumark & Roy J. Bank & Kyle D. Van Nort, 1996. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 915-941.
  4. Baert, Stijn & Norga, Jennifer & Thuy, Yannick & Van Hecke, Marieke, 2016. "Getting grey hairs in the labour market. An alternative experiment on age discrimination," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 86-101.
  5. Bloch, Farrell, 1994. "Antidiscrimination Law and Minority Employment," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226059839, April.
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  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. Amanda Agan & Sonja Starr, 2016. "Ban the Box, Criminal Records, and Statistical Discrimination: A Field Experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00539, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. Patrick Button, 2016. "Expanding Employment Discrimination Protections for Individuals with Disabilities: Evidence from California," Working Papers 1601, Tulane University, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2016.
  11. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, November.
  12. Matthew S. Rutledge & Steven A. Sass & Jorge D. Ramos-Mercado, 2015. "How Does Occupational Access for Older Workers Differ by Education?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2015-20, Center for Retirement Research.
  13. Christine Jolls & J.J. Prescott, 2004. "Disaggregating Employment Protection: The Case of Disability Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 10740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Michael Fix & Raymond Struyk, 1993. "Clear and convincing evidence: Measurement of discrimination in america," Natural Field Experiments 00241, The Field Experiments Website.
  16. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  17. Adams, Scott J., 2004. "Age discrimination legislation and the employment of older workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 219-241, April.
  18. Wendy A. Stock & Kathleen Beegle, 2004. "Employment Protections for Older Workers: Do Disability Discrimination Laws Matter?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(1), pages 111-126, January.
  19. David Neumark & Ian Burn & Patrick Button, 2015. "Is It Harder for Older Workers to Find Jobs? New and Improved Evidence from a Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 21669, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Posner, Richard A., 1995. "Aging and Old Age," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226675664, April.
  21. David Neumark & Joanne Song & Patrick Button, 2015. "Does Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Make It Harder to Get Hired? Evidence from Disability Discrimination Laws," NBER Working Papers 21379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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