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Abstract

Does Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Make It Harder to Get Hired? Revised with Additional Analysis of SIPP Data and Appendix of Disability Laws
David Neumark, Joanne Song McLaughlin and Patrick Button
WP 2015-315

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 nondisabled 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 nondisabled older workers. We similarly find no evidence of adverse effects of disability discrimination laws on hiring of disabled older workers.

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