NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

State Age Protection Laws and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Joanna Lahey

NBER Working Paper No. 12048
Issued in February 2006
NBER Program(s):   AG   LS

Some anti-discrimination laws have the perverse effect of harming the very class they were meant to protect. This paper provides evidence that age discrimination laws belong to this perverse class. Prior to the enforcement of the federal law, state laws had little effect on older workers, suggesting that firms either knew little about these laws or did not see them as a threat. After the enforcement of the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in 1979, white male workers over the age of 50 in states with age discrimination laws worked between 1 and 1.5 fewer weeks per year than workers in states without laws. These men are also .3 percentage points more likely to be retired and .2 percentage points less likely to be hired. These findings suggest that in an anti-age discrimination environment, firms seek to avoid litigation through means not intended by the legislation -- by not employing older workers in the first place.

download in pdf format
   (226 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (226 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12048

Published: Lahey, Joanna. “State Age Protection Laws and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.” Journal of Law and Economics 51, 3 (2008): 433-460.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Neumark w14317 The Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Challenge of Population Aging
Johnson and Neumark w5619 Age Discrimination, Job Separation, and Employment Status of Older Workers: Evidence from Self-Reports
Neumark w8152 Age Discrimination Legislation in the United States
Neumark and Stock w6088 Age Discrimination Laws and Labor Market Efficiency
Lahey w11435 Age, Women, and Hiring: An Experimental Study
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us