Hiring Chances Are Bad For Older Workers

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Management Online Review, Volume September (2009)




It is often claimed that work opportunities decline with age,‭ ‬that hiring chances of older persons are poor. We investigate this by collecting questionnaire responses from personnel managers of German manufacturing firms, eliciting a hypothetical hiring decision based on three fictitious candidates. We rely on an age-neutral job and a small age-gap of 14 years between the youngest and the oldest candidate. The quasi-experimental design of the questionnaire allows us to control for possible productivity differences and other economic explanations for declining hiring chances. The data show a 60 percentage point difference in hiring probabilities between the youngest and oldest candidate.