Do State Laws Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Reduce Age Discrimination in Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment

59 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2018

See all articles by David Neumark

David Neumark

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

Ian Burn

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)

Patrick Button

Tulane University, Department of Economics

Nanneh Chehras

University of California, Irvine, Department of Economics, Students

Date Written: December 2018

Abstract

We provide evidence from a field experiment in all 50 states on age discrimination in hiring for retail sales jobs. We relate measured age discrimination – the difference in callback rates between old and young applicants – to state variation in anti-discrimination laws protecting older workers. Anti-discrimination laws could boost hiring, although they could have the unintended consequence of deterring hiring if their main effect is to increase termination costs. We find some evidence that there is less discrimination against older men and women in states where age discrimination law allows larger damages, and some evidence that there is lower discrimination against older women in states where disability discrimination law allows larger damages. But this evidence is not robust to all of the estimations we consider. However, we reach a robust conclusion that stronger or broader laws protecting older workers from discrimination do not have the unintended consequence of deterring their hiring.

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Suggested Citation

Neumark, David and Burn, Ian and Button, Patrick and Chehras, Nanneh, Do State Laws Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Reduce Age Discrimination in Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment (December 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w25369. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3302551

David Neumark (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
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949-824-8496 (Phone)
949-824-2182 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.socsci.uci.edu/~dneumark/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
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Germany

Ian Burn

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) ( email )

Kyrkgatan 43B
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://ianburn.com

Patrick Button

Tulane University, Department of Economics ( email )

New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.patrickbutton.com

Nanneh Chehras

University of California, Irvine, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

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