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Key Findings Details

Did Age Discrimination Protections Help Older Workers Weather the Great Recession?
David Neumark and Patrick Button
WP 2013-287

  • An increase in age discrimination may underlie the dramatic increases in unemployment durations for older workers during and after the Great Recession.
  • In states with stronger age discrimination protections, older workers generally experienced worse labor market outcomes, relative to young workers, during and after the Great Recession.
  • Age discrimination laws may become less effective during times of economic turbulence when discrimination can be more difficult to discern, and such periods may even encourage employers more constrained from age discrimination in normal times to take advantage of this economic turbulence.
  • It may be important to strengthen the effectiveness of age discrimination protections in times of economic turbulence.

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