Age Discrimination and Working Life: Perspectives and Contestations - A Review of the Contemporary Literature
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This review highlights some of the principal issues and debates surrounding age discrimination at the workplace. Essentially, the existing research in this area can be divided into three broad, although somewhat overlapping, categories. The first explores the underlying causes and consequences of age discrimination at the workplace from one or other theoretical tradition. The second broad body of literature encompasses empirical studies which document the nature and extent of age discrimination, based on the use of official statistics, and/or firm-level survey evidence. The third explores the effects of various governmental initiatives to reduce the incidence of age discrimination and policy options in this area. Even though age discrimination is widely accepted to be prevalent, its causes are rather more contentious. Age discrimination has variously been ascribed to market imperfections, the product of rational choices and the effects of long-term changes in the nature of the economy. Policy interventions may be prompted by economic pressure, demographic changes or cultural shifts, and have involved voluntary codes as well as legislation. Although voluntary codes have generally proved ineffective, the literature indicates that more formal regulations may still have only limited efficacy, underscoring the deeply rooted nature of age discrimination in society.
International Journal of Management Reviews
© 2008 Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The definitive version is available at www.interscience.wiley.com