Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/223948
Authors: 
Burn, Ian
Button, Patrick
Munguia Corella, Luis
Neumark, David
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers No. 13506
Abstract: 
We study the relationships between ageist stereotypes – as reflected in the language used in job ads – and age discrimination in hiring, exploiting the text of job ads and differences in callbacks to older and younger job applicants from a resume (correspondence study) field experiment (Neumark, Burn, and Button, 2019). Our analysis uses methods from computational linguistics and machine learning to directly identify, in a field-experiment setting, ageist stereotypes that underlie age discrimination in hiring. The methods we develop provide a framework for applied researchers analyzing textual data, highlighting the usefulness of various computer science techniques for empirical economics research. We find evidence that language related to stereotypes of older workers sometimes predicts discrimination against older workers. For men, our evidence points to age stereotypes about all three categories we consider – health, personality, and skill – predicting age discrimination, and for women, age stereotypes about personality. In general, the evidence is much stronger for men, and our results for men are quite consistent with the industrial psychology literature on age stereotypes.
Subjects: 
ageist stereotypes
age discrimination
job ads
machine learning
JEL: 
J14
J7
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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