An empirical study of age discrimination in Norway and Germany

Büsch, Victoria; Svenn-Åge Dahl; and Dennis A. V. Dittrich
(2009) Applied Economics 41, 633-651

DOI Online

Using a questionnaire and a sample of students and personnel managers we establish the existence of age discrimination in the hiring process in Germany and Norway. As expected, age discrimination is more prominent in Germany where the hiring probability of equally qualified applicants is reduced by about 22 percentage points due to an age differential of 14 years as opposed to only 12 percentage points in Norway. Within both countries the tendency to discriminate does not differ between students and personnel managers and does not depend on the age of the decision maker. ‘The phenomenon of unemployment among older workers […] is characterized less by the risk of becoming unemployed than by the problem of remaining unemployed and failing to find new work.’ Frerichs and Naegele (1998, p. 59)