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Difficulties of integrating older workers into the labor market: exploring the Israeli labor market

Hila Axelrad (Department of Public Policy and Administration, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel)
Israel Luski (Department of Economics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel)
Malul Miki (Department of Public Policy and Administration, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 14 October 2013

903

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to examine the existence of biased stereotypes about older workers. What are the economic implications of such biased stereotypes? Finally, what policy measures are required in order to achieve efficiency in the labor market?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors grouped 25 opinions about older workers into three categories of stereotypes. The first category dealt with the productivity of older staff. The other two categories addressed their reliability and adaptability. The authors then questioned 312 Israeli respondents about the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with the opinions. Finally, the authors examined theoretically the economic effects of biased stereotypes about older workers.

Findings

The study demonstrates that individual and organizational characteristics affect employers' attitudes. Age was a significant factor in all three categories. The older the respondent, the fewer prejudices he or she had against older workers. Other characteristics such as gender, interaction with older workers, the nature of the respondent's work in the organization, the age of the employees, and the size of the organization were all significant, but not always, and not in all three categories. The findings imply that there are biased stereotypes about older workers, so the allocation of workers is distorted, which leads to a failure of the market.

Originality/value

The results strengthen the economic justification for policy intervention to correct the distorted level of employment of older workers in the labor market.

Keywords

Citation

Axelrad, H., Luski, I. and Miki, M. (2013), "Difficulties of integrating older workers into the labor market: exploring the Israeli labor market", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 40 No. 12, pp. 1058-1076. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-12-2011-0098

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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