This dissertation is dedicated to studying age discrimination in the labour market. This topic has been widely studied in USA and some European countries due to the issue of society ageing and consequential retirement age increases. While Italy faces the same problems, the topic of age discrimination against older workers has not yet received here considerable attention. Our aim was to run a pilot study that would help determine whether age discrimination against older workers could be considered an issue of concern, and if possible, touch upon its roots and motivations for discriminatory actions. In the first chapter, we discuss the concept of discrimination, methods used to study it, state-of-art and theories behind age discrimination in the labour market specifically. We infer that current methods of research, that have not changed a lot since this topic has first received scientific attention, often fail to disentangle actual discrimination from inequality caused by other factors. The second chapter is dedicated to studying the anti-discriminatory legislation aimed specifically at age discrimination in the labour market that was introduced in Italy in 2003. We use quasi experimental approach to analyze whether the introduction of legislation had influence on the older (55-59 age group) workers’ employment rates. In the third chapter, we use laboratory experiment to study age discrimination and factors influencing employment situation of older workers compared to younger ones by simulating a hiring situation among the students of University of Brescia. The results of our research prove that certain extent of discrimination against older works does exist in the labour market of Italy. This fact is, firstly, indirectly proven by the results of policy analysis. Anti-discriminatory legislation did have positive impact on employment rate of older workers without influencing younger workers in the same way. Secondly, the experiment results show that the participants tended to significantly prefer younger workers compared to older workers, especially for the job that required more physical than intellectual work and if older workers had the same experience as younger workers. Moreover, older women were more discriminated than older men. We, however, also found that such factors as higher experience and existence of up-to-date training tended to mitigate that effect and make older workers even more competitive than younger workers. We did not find that personal attitudes had impact on hiring decisions but health stereotypes about older workers being less healthy than younger workers did have negative impact on hiring decisions. Additionally, we found out that culture-related factors were important in decisions-making. However, their nature and mechanism remain to be studied in a more detailed way. We conclude by pointing out the importance of further research in this field and the necessity to study cultural and unconscious motives (with additional help of cognitive methods) as the reason behind discriminatory actions.

AGE DISCRIMINATION IN THE LABOUR MARKET: A QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS / Y. Dormidontova ; tutor: M. Castellani, C. Meraviglia ; coordinatore: G. Ballarino. - : . Universita' degli Studi di MILANO, 2019 Apr 15. ((31. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2018. [10.13130/dormidontova-yulia_phd2019-04-15].

AGE DISCRIMINATION IN THE LABOUR MARKET: A QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS

Y. Dormidontova
2019

Abstract

This dissertation is dedicated to studying age discrimination in the labour market. This topic has been widely studied in USA and some European countries due to the issue of society ageing and consequential retirement age increases. While Italy faces the same problems, the topic of age discrimination against older workers has not yet received here considerable attention. Our aim was to run a pilot study that would help determine whether age discrimination against older workers could be considered an issue of concern, and if possible, touch upon its roots and motivations for discriminatory actions. In the first chapter, we discuss the concept of discrimination, methods used to study it, state-of-art and theories behind age discrimination in the labour market specifically. We infer that current methods of research, that have not changed a lot since this topic has first received scientific attention, often fail to disentangle actual discrimination from inequality caused by other factors. The second chapter is dedicated to studying the anti-discriminatory legislation aimed specifically at age discrimination in the labour market that was introduced in Italy in 2003. We use quasi experimental approach to analyze whether the introduction of legislation had influence on the older (55-59 age group) workers’ employment rates. In the third chapter, we use laboratory experiment to study age discrimination and factors influencing employment situation of older workers compared to younger ones by simulating a hiring situation among the students of University of Brescia. The results of our research prove that certain extent of discrimination against older works does exist in the labour market of Italy. This fact is, firstly, indirectly proven by the results of policy analysis. Anti-discriminatory legislation did have positive impact on employment rate of older workers without influencing younger workers in the same way. Secondly, the experiment results show that the participants tended to significantly prefer younger workers compared to older workers, especially for the job that required more physical than intellectual work and if older workers had the same experience as younger workers. Moreover, older women were more discriminated than older men. We, however, also found that such factors as higher experience and existence of up-to-date training tended to mitigate that effect and make older workers even more competitive than younger workers. We did not find that personal attitudes had impact on hiring decisions but health stereotypes about older workers being less healthy than younger workers did have negative impact on hiring decisions. Additionally, we found out that culture-related factors were important in decisions-making. However, their nature and mechanism remain to be studied in a more detailed way. We conclude by pointing out the importance of further research in this field and the necessity to study cultural and unconscious motives (with additional help of cognitive methods) as the reason behind discriminatory actions.
CASTELLANI, MARCO
MERAVIGLIA, CINZIA
BALLARINO, GABRIELE
labour market; hiring; experimental research; laboratory experiment; quasi-experiment; policy analysis
Settore SPS/09 - Sociologia dei Processi economici e del Lavoro
Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale
Settore IUS/07 - Diritto del Lavoro
Settore SECS-P/07 - Economia Aziendale
Settore SECS-P/10 - Organizzazione Aziendale
Settore SECS-S/04 - Demografia
Settore M-PSI/06 - Psicologia del Lavoro e delle Organizzazioni
AGE DISCRIMINATION IN THE LABOUR MARKET: A QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS / Y. Dormidontova ; tutor: M. Castellani, C. Meraviglia ; coordinatore: G. Ballarino. - : . Universita' degli Studi di MILANO, 2019 Apr 15. ((31. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2018. [10.13130/dormidontova-yulia_phd2019-04-15].
Doctoral Thesis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/635913
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