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.
- Labour market
- Social policy