Hiring Chances Are Bad For Older Workers

Büsch, Victoria; Dennis A. V. Dittrich; and Manfred Königstein
(2009) Management Online Review September

Online

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.