Economics External Seminar: Ian Burn (SOFI)

13 June 2019, 1.00 PM - 13 June 2019, 2.00 PM

Ian Burn (SOFI)

1B6, Priory Road Complex

TITLE: Ageist Language in Job Ads and Age Discrimination in Hiring: Evidence from a Field Experiments joint work with Patrick Button, Luis Corella, and David Neumark 

ABSTRACT:  Seniors are working longer, in part through taking “bridge” jobs before complete retirement. However, age discrimination in hiring can pose a significant barrier. We study the relationships between ageist stereotypes – as reflected in job ads – and age discrimination in hiring. We analyze the job ad data from approximately 12,000 job ads from a previous resume field experiment (Neumark, Burn, and Button 2019) that quantified age discrimination in hiring by sending matched resumes of older and younger workers in response to job ads. We use language processing software combined to scrape the text of these ads and identify language that conveys or relates to age stereotypes. We test whether employers with less intent of hiring older workers – as captured in the experimental results – use ageist language in their ads or have job requirements that relate to age stereotypes. This process allows us to directly identify, in a field setting, ageist stereotypes that underlie age discrimination. 

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