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Key Findings Details

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

  • Disability discrimination laws are likely to have a disproportionate impact on older workers, and could encourage or discourage hiring of older workers.
  • State variation in disability discrimination protections allows estimation of the effects of varying strength of disability discrimination protections on hiring of older (and other) workers.
  • State disability discrimination laws that use a broader definition of disability than the ADA appear to raise rather than reduce hiring of nondisabled older workers.
  • Stronger state disability protections reduce hiring of at least younger disabled workers.
  • There is no evidence of adverse effects of disability discrimination laws on older workers, and our best evidence points to positive effects on hiring of older workers, as does complementary evidence on stronger state protections against age discrimination.