NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Does Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Make It Harder to Get Hired? Evidence from Disability Discrimination Laws

David Neumark, Joanne Song, Patrick Button

NBER Working Paper No. 21379
Issued in July 2015, Revised in September 2015
NBER Program(s):Aging, Labor Studies

We explore the effects of disability discrimination laws on hiring of older workers. A concern with anti-discrimination laws is that they may reduce hiring by raising the cost of terminations and – in the specific case of disability discrimination laws – raising the cost of employment because of the need to accommodate disabled workers. Moreover, disability discrimination laws can affect non-disabled older workers because they are fairly likely to develop work-related disabilities, yet are not protected by these laws. Using state variation in disability discrimination protections, we find little or no evidence that stronger disability discrimination laws lower the hiring of non-disabled older workers. We similarly find no evidence of adverse effects of disability discrimination laws on hiring of disabled older workers.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21379

Published: David Neumark & Joanne Song & Patrick Button, 2017. "Does Protecting Older Workers From Discrimination Make It Harder to Get Hired? Evidence From Disability Discrimination Laws," Research on Aging, vol 39(1), pages 29-63.

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