IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/glodps/434.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What Does a Job Candidate’s Age Signal to Employers?

Author

Listed:
  • Van Borm, Hannah
  • Burn, Ian
  • Baert, Stijn

Abstract

Research has shown that hiring discrimination is a barrier for older job candidates in many OECD countries. However, little research has delved into why older job candidates are discriminated against. Therefore, we have conducted an online scenario experiment involving recruiters to empirically investigate 15 potential stigma related to older age drawn from a systematic review of the literature. We found that older age particularly signals to recruiters that the applicant has lower technological skill, flexibility, and trainability levels. Together, these perceptions explain about 41% of the effect of age on the probability of being invited to a job interview. In addition, we found that the negative association between age and invitation probability is smaller when recruiters work for firms with a higher percentage of older employees.

Suggested Citation

  • Van Borm, Hannah & Burn, Ian & Baert, Stijn, 2019. "What Does a Job Candidate’s Age Signal to Employers?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 434, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:434
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/209575/1/GLO-DP-0434.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Carlsson, Magnus & Abrar Reshid, Abdulaziz & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2018. "Neighborhood Signaling Effects, Commuting Time, and Employment: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 11284, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Stefano DellaVigna & Devin Pope, 2018. "Predicting Experimental Results: Who Knows What?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(6), pages 2410-2456.
    3. 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.
    4. Kory Kroft & Fabian Lange & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2013. "Duration Dependence and Labor Market Conditions: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1123-1167.
    5. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1994. "Ranking, Unemployment Duration, and Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 417-434.
    6. Nicholas Barr, 2006. "(UBS Pensions Series 040) Pensions: Overview of Issues," FMG Discussion Papers dp562, Financial Markets Group.
    7. John Horton & David Rand & Richard Zeckhauser, 2011. "The online laboratory: conducting experiments in a real labor market," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 399-425, September.
    8. Guillermina Jasso, 2006. "Factorial Survey Methods for Studying Beliefs and Judgments," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 34(3), pages 334-423, February.
    9. Ian Burn & Patrick Button & Luis Felipe Munguia Corella & David Neumark, 2019. "Older Workers Need Not Apply? Ageist Language in Job Ads and Age Discrimination in Hiring," NBER Working Papers 26552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Peter Riach & Judith Rich, 2004. "Fishing for Discrimination," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 62(4), pages 465-486.
    11. Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2017. "The right look: Conservative politicians look better and voters reward it," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 79-86.
    12. David Neumark & Ian Burn & Patrick Button & Nanneh Chehras, 2019. "Do State Laws Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Reduce Age Discrimination in Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(2), pages 373-402.
    13. David Neumark & Ian Burn & Patrick Button, 2016. "Experimental Age Discrimination Evidence and the Heckman Critique," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 303-308, May.
    14. Tor Eriksson & Nicolai Kristensen, 2014. "Wages or Fringes? Some Evidence on Trade-Offs and Sorting," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(4), pages 899-928.
    15. Henry S. Farber & Dan Silverman & Till von Wachter, 2016. "Determinants of Callbacks to Job Applications: An Audit Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 314-318, May.
    16. Stefan Eriksson & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2014. "Do Employers Use Unemployment as a Sorting Criterion When Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 1014-1039, March.
    17. Chandler, Dana & Kapelner, Adam, 2013. "Breaking monotony with meaning: Motivation in crowdsourcing markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 123-133.
    18. Barr, Nicholas, 2006. "Pensions: overview of the issues," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2631, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    19. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2017. "On financing retirement with an aging population," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(1), pages 75-115, March.
    20. Peter A. Riach & Judith Rich, 2010. "An Experimental Investigation of Age Discrimination in the English Labor Market," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 99-100, pages 169-185.
    21. Richard W. Johnson & David Neumark, 1997. "Age Discrimination, Job Separations, and Employment Status of Older Workers: Evidence from Self-Reports," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 779-811.
    22. Ilyana Kuziemko & Michael I. Norton & Emmanuel Saez & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2015. "How Elastic Are Preferences for Redistribution? Evidence from Randomized Survey Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(4), pages 1478-1508, April.
    23. Drydakis, Nick & MacDonald, Peter & Bozani, Vasiliki & Chiotis, Vangelis, 2017. "Inclusive recruitment? Hiring discrimination against older workers," GLO Discussion Paper Series 103, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    24. Gabriele Paolacci & Jesse Chandler & Panagiotis G. Ipeirotis, 2010. "Running experiments on Amazon Mechanical Turk," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 5(5), pages 411-419, August.
    25. Baert, Stijn & De Pauw, Ann-Sophie, 2014. "Is ethnic discrimination due to distaste or statistics?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 125(2), pages 270-273.
    26. Vishwanath, Tara, 1989. "Job Search, Stigma Effect, and Escape Rate from Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 487-502, October.
    27. Peter Hicks, 2012. "Later Retirement: the Win-Win Solution," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 345, March.
    28. Halberstam, Yosh & Knight, Brian, 2016. "Homophily, group size, and the diffusion of political information in social networks: Evidence from Twitter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 73-88.
    29. Joanna N. Lahey, 2008. "Age, Women, and Hiring: An Experimental Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
    30. James Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev, 2013. "Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2052-2086, October.
    31. David Neumark, 2018. "Experimental Research on Labor Market Discrimination," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(3), pages 799-866, September.
    32. Breyer, Friedrich & Kifmann, Mathias, 2002. "Incentives to retire later – a solution to the social security crisis?," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 111-130, July.
    33. Eva Van Belle & Ralf Caers & Marijke De Couck & Valentina Di Stasio & Stijn Baert, 2019. "The Signal of Applying for a Job Under a Vacancy Referral Scheme," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 251-274, April.
    34. David Neumark & Ian Burn & Patrick Button, 2019. "Is It Harder for Older Workers to Find Jobs? New and Improved Evidence from a Field Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(2), pages 922-970.
    35. Victoria Busch & Svenn-Åge Dahl & Dennis Dittrich, 2009. "An empirical study of age discrimination in Norway and Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 633-651.
    36. José Luis Montiel Olea & Tomasz Strzalecki, 2014. "Axiomatization and Measurement of Quasi-Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1449-1499.
    37. Sagiri Kitao, 2014. "Sustainable Social Security: Four Options," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 756-779, October.
    38. Sarah Mathew, 2017. "How the Second-Order Free Rider Problem Is Solved in a Small-Scale Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 578-581, May.
    39. van Dalen, H.P. & Henkens, C.J.I.M. & Schippers, J.J., 2009. "Dealing with older workers in Europe : A comparative survey of employers' attitudes and actions," Other publications TiSEM d12ad3e9-29ab-4a83-b61e-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    40. Peter A. Riach, 2015. "A field experiment investigating age discrimination in four European labour markets," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(5), pages 608-619, September.
    41. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri & Kuhn, Michael A., 2013. "Experimental methods: Extra-laboratory experiments-extending the reach of experimental economics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 93-100.
    42. Carlsson, Magnus & Eriksson, Stefan, 2017. "The effect of age and gender on labor demand – evidence from a field experiment," Working Paper Series 2017:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    43. Nicole Maestas & Julie Zissimopoulos, 2010. "How Longer Work Lives Ease the Crunch of Population Aging," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 139-160, Winter.
    44. Sandro Ambuehl & Axel Ockenfels, 2017. "The Ethics of Incentivizing the Uninformed: A Vignette Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 91-95, May.
    45. repec:adr:anecst:y:2010:i:99-100 is not listed on IDEAS
    46. Attanasio, Orazio & Kitao, Sagiri & Violante, Giovanni L., 2007. "Global demographic trends and social security reform," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 144-198, January.
    47. Saurabh Bhargava & George Loewenstein & Justin Sydnor, 2017. "Choose to Lose: Health Plan Choices from a Menu with Dominated Option," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(3), pages 1319-1372.
    48. Philip Taylor & Peter Urwin, 2001. "Age and Participation in Vocational Education and Training," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 15(4), pages 763-779, December.
    49. Neyt, Brecht & Vandenbulcke, Sarah & Baert, Stijn, 2019. "Are men intimidated by highly educated women? Undercover on Tinder," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    50. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
    51. Nicholas Barr, 2006. "Pensions: Overview of the Issues," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-14, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ian Burn & Patrick Button & Luis Felipe Munguia Corella & David Neumark, 2019. "Older Workers Need Not Apply? Ageist Language in Job Ads and Age Discrimination in Hiring," NBER Working Papers 26552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sterkens, Philippe & Baert, Stijn & Rooman, Claudia & Derous, Eva, 2020. "As If It Weren't Hard Enough Already: Breaking down Hiring Discrimination Following Burnout," IZA Discussion Papers 13514, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Philippe Sterkens & Stijn Baert & Claudia Rooman & Eva Derous, 2020. "As if it weren’t hard enough already: Breaking down hiring discrimination following burnout A causal machine learning evaluation of training in Belgium," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 20/1000, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Van Belle, Eva & Caers, Ralf & De Couck, Marijke & Di Stasio, Valentina & Baert, Stijn, 2017. "Why Is Unemployment Duration a Sorting Criterion in Hiring?," IZA Discussion Papers 10876, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Button, Patrick & Walker, Brigham, 2020. "Employment discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Evidence from a field experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    3. Baert, Stijn, 2017. "Hiring Discrimination: An Overview of (Almost) All Correspondence Experiments Since 2005," GLO Discussion Paper Series 61, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. David Neumark, 2018. "Experimental Research on Labor Market Discrimination," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(3), pages 799-866, September.
    5. Carlsson, Magnus & Eriksson, Stefan, 2017. "The effect of age and gender on labor demand – evidence from a field experiment," Working Paper Series 2017:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    6. Eva Van Belle & Ralf Caers & Marijke De Couck & Valentina Di Stasio & Stijn Baert, 2019. "The Signal of Applying for a Job Under a Vacancy Referral Scheme," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 251-274, April.
    7. Piopiunik, Marc & Schwerdt, Guido & Simon, Lisa & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Skills, signals, and employability: An experimental investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    8. Nüß, Patrick, 2017. "Duration Dependence as an Unemployment Stigma: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Germany," GLO Discussion Paper Series 88, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    9. Henry S. Farber & Chris M. Herbst & Dan Silverman & Till von Wachter, 2018. "Whom Do Employers Want? The Role of Recent Employment and Unemployment Status and Age," Working Papers 619, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    10. Carlsson, Magnus & Eriksson, Stefan, 2019. "Age discrimination in hiring decisions: Evidence from a field experiment in the labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 173-183.
    11. 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.
    12. Gaddis, S. Michael, 2018. "An Introduction to Audit Studies in the Social Sciences," SocArXiv e5hfc, Center for Open Science.
    13. Stijn Baert & Dieter Verhaest, 2019. "Unemployment or Overeducation: Which is a Worse Signal to Employers?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 167(1), pages 1-21, March.
    14. Joanne Song McLaughlin, 2020. "Falling Between the Cracks: Discrimination Laws and Older Women," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 34(2), pages 215-238, June.
    15. Henry S. Farber & Dan Silverman & Till von Wachter, 2016. "Determinants of Callbacks to Job Applications: An Audit Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 314-318, May.
    16. John M. Nunley & Adam Pugh & Nicholas Romero & Richard Alan Seals, Jr., 2014. "Unemployment, Underemployment, and Employment Opportunities: Results from a Correspondence Audit of the Labor Market for College Graduates," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2014-04, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
    17. Stijn Baert & Sunčica Vujić, 2018. "Does it pay to care? Volunteering and employment opportunities," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(3), pages 819-836, July.
    18. Stijn Baert & Brecht Neyt & Thomas Siedler & Ilse Toback & Dieter Verhaest, 2019. "Student Internships And Employment Opportunities After Graduation: A Field Experiment," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 19/974, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    19. Fernández-Blanco, Javier & Preugschat, Edgar, 2018. "On the effects of ranking by unemployment duration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 92-110.
    20. Valfort, Marie-Anne, 2020. "Anti-Muslim discrimination in France: Evidence from a field experiment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    hiring; statistical discrimination; age; stereotypes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:434. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/glaboea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.