The Age Twist in Employers’ Gender Requests: Evidence from Four Job Boards

62 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2016 Last revised: 10 May 2016

See all articles by Miguel Delgado Helleseter

Miguel Delgado Helleseter

California State University, Channel Islands

Peter Kuhn

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Kailing Shen

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics

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Date Written: April 2016

Abstract

When permitted by law, employers sometimes state the preferred age and gender of their employees in job ads. We study the interaction of advertised requests for age and gender on one Mexican and three Chinese job boards, showing that firms’ explicit gender requests shift dramatically away from women and towards men when firms are seeking older (as opposed to younger) workers. This ‘age twist’ in advertised gender preferences occurs in all four of our datasets and survives controls for occupation, firm, and job title fixed effects. Together, observed characteristics of job ads (including the job title) can account for 65 percent of the twist; within this ‘explained’ component, just three factors: employers’ requests for older men in managerial positions, and for young women in customer contact and helping positions, account for more than half. The latter requests are frequently accompanied by explicit requests for physically attractive candidates. Based on its timing, the remaining portion of the twist, which occurs within job titles, appears to be connected to a differential effect of parenthood on firms’ relative requests for men versus women.

Suggested Citation

Delgado Helleseter, Miguel and Kuhn, Peter J. and Shen, Kailing, The Age Twist in Employers’ Gender Requests: Evidence from Four Job Boards (April 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22187. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2769719

Miguel Delgado Helleseter (Contact Author)

California State University, Channel Islands

One University Drive
Camarillo, CA 93012
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Peter J. Kuhn

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Kailing Shen

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics ( email )

997-1873 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://grad.econ.ubc.ca/kailings/index.html

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