Absence of conflict of interest.
The study’s objective was to examine the impact of age discrimination laws on the employment of older women. This profile focuses on the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) comparison. The author investigated similar research questions for another contrast, the profile of which can be found here.
The study used a nonexperimental design using Current Population Survey (CPS) data to compare employment outcomes between older men and older women following the implementation of the ADEA.
The study found a statistically significant relationship between the ADEA and increasing employment outcomes for both men and women.
This study receives a moderate evidence rating. This means we are somewhat confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the ADEA, but other factors might also have contributed.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
Features of the Study
In response to age limits that employers imposed in hiring processes, the federal government enacted the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) to reduce age discriminatory practices for workers ages 40 to 65. The ADEA aimed to reduce age discrimination practices and increase employment of older workers, which can occur through increased hiring rates or decreased layoff rates of older workers. The study used a difference-in-differences model to compare employment outcomes before and after the implementation of the federal age discrimination law for older men and women. The author used states that did not have state level age discrimination laws prior to the enactment of ADEA in 1967 as the treatment group, while the remaining states that already had state level age discrimination laws served as the comparison group. The author examined the effects of federal age discrimination law using Current Population Survey (CPS) data from 1963 to 1971. The author restricted the sample to white workers to avoid racial discrimination issues. The sample was approximately 60 percent employed, while retirement and unemployment rates were both between 3 to 4 percent. Of the unemployed population, 36 percent were female and living in a boundary of a city or non-metropolitan area. The author used statistical models to compare differences in outcomes between the treatment and comparison groups.
- The study found a statistically significant relationship between the ADEA and increased employment for both men and women. The probability of employment following the enactment of ADEA was higher for men than it was for women, although this finding was not statistically significant.
Considerations for Interpreting the Findings
Although the difference-in-differences model controlled for many sources of variation related to the outcomes of interest, the author acknowledged that older women may be more inclined to voluntarily leave the labor force compared to older men. The author attempted to reduce this effect by restricting the sample to unmarried individuals but went on to acknowledge that estimates from unmarried individuals during the time period examined were not a representative sample.
Causal Evidence Rating
The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is moderate because it was based on a well-implemented nonexperimental design. This means we are somewhat confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the ADEA, but other factors might also have contributed.