Age Discrimination, Job Separation, and Employment Status of Older Workers: Evidence from Self-Reports
This paper explores the prevalence and consequences of age discrimination in the workplace by analyzing self-reports of discrimination by respondents in the National Longitudinal Survey of Older Men. Age discrimination was reported in seven percent of our cases, during the period 1966-1980. Workers with positive reports were much more likely to separate from their employer and less likely to remain employed than workers who report no age discrimination. The estimated effect of reported discrimination remains large and significant even when controlling for the existence of mandatory retirement provisions on the current job. These findings are generally robust to numerous attempts to correct the estimates for the inherent limitations of self-reported data, particularly the potential heterogeneity bias that arises from differences in the propensity to report discrimination, and the possibility that discrimination is reported in response to other negative labor market outcomes.