An Experimental Investigation of Age Discrimination in the English Labor Market

37 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2007

See all articles by Peter A. Riach

Peter A. Riach

Independent

Judith Rich

University of Portsmouth; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: September 2007

Abstract

Carefully-matched pairs of written job applications were made to test for age discrimination in hiring. A twenty-one year-old and a thirty-nine year-old woman applied for jobs where a "new graduate" was sought; men aged twenty-seven and forty-seven, inquired about employment as waiters; women aged twenty-seven and forty-seven, inquired about employment in retail sales. The rate of net discrimination against the older graduate, and against the older waiters in their London inquiries, correspond to the highest rates ever recorded anywhere, by written tests, for racial discrimination. There was a statistically significant preference for the older applicant in retail sales.

Keywords: age, discrimination, employment, field experiment, hiring

JEL Classification: J71, C93

Suggested Citation

Riach, Peter A. and Rich, Judith, An Experimental Investigation of Age Discrimination in the English Labor Market (September 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 3029, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1017501

Judith Rich

University of Portsmouth

University House
Winston Churchhill Avenue
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 2UP
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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