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The senior discount: biases against older career changers

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Abstract

This study examined age discrimination in between‐ vs. within‐career job transitions. We expected that older workers transitioning into a new field would experience greater age discrimination than those who change jobs within the same field, particularly when amount of prior job experience is not made salient, and particularly when decision‐makers were highly prejudiced. Results suggested that younger job applicants received higher suitability ratings than older job applicants, and job applicants making a within‐career transition were rated higher than those making a between‐career transition. As hypothesized, older job applicants making between‐career transitions would receive the lowest ratings of suitability for hire when no information regarding experience was presented, and when decision‐makers were highly prejudiced. Implications for the aging workforce are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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