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

46 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2020

See all articles by Hannah Van Borm

Hannah Van Borm

Ghent University

Stijn Baert

Ghent University; University of Antwerp; Catholic University of Louvain (UCL); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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.

Keywords: hiring, statistical discrimination, age, stereotypes

JEL Classification: J71, J14, J24, J23

Suggested Citation

Van Borm, Hannah and Baert, Stijn, What Does a Job Candidate's Age Signal to Employers?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12849. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3513691

Hannah Van Borm (Contact Author)

Ghent University ( email )

Coupure Links 653
Gent, 9000
Belgium

Stijn Baert

Ghent University ( email )

University of Antwerp ( email )

Prinsstraat 13
Antwerp, Antwerp 2000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uantwerpen.be/nl/personeel/stijn-baert/

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) ( email )

Place Montesquieu, 3
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uclouvain.be/en-309318.html

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos/index_html?key=6832

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