Pensions, Non-Discrimination Policies and the Employment of Older Workers
John E. Garen
University of Kentucky - Gatton College of Business and Economics
University of Kentucky - Department of Economics
University of Kentucky
QUARTERLY REVIEW OF ECONOMICS AND FINANCE
This paper analyzes firms' decisions to hire older workers. We model the role of pensions in backloading pay for specifically trained workers. We then evaluate the effects of imposing age discrimination rules and non-discriminatory fringe benefit rules and analyze the consequences for the firm's decision to hire older versus younger individuals. The model predicts that defined benefit pension plans deter the hiring of older workers but only if hired for entry level positions. The reason is that the wages of this group cannot be lowered enough to pay for the benefits. Data from a new survey of employers are used to test this hypothesis. The findings show that a more generous defined benefit pension plan reduces employment prospects for older, entry-level workers. Employers offering defined benefit pension plans employ older workers but tend not to hire them into entry- level jobs.
JEL Classification: E6, H55, I38, J32, J7
Date posted: October 2, 1996
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