An aging population, coupled with low employment rates among Americans older than 62, poses severe challenges to the long-term sustainability of Social Security. Numerous reforms have been proposed to extend their working lives, including raising the retirement age. Such reforms may be unlikely to gain traction — not because people are so eager to retire, but because age discrimination sharply limits job opportunities.
After decades of debate, most labor economists today accept that discrimination has played a role in limiting job market opportunities for minorities and women. There's been a steady buildup of evidence that is hard to refute. Most notably, in numerous field experiments, fictitious job seekers designed to be identical in every respect other than race or ethnicity apply for jobs either in person or online. Almost invariably the results show employers offering fewer jobs and interviews to minorities.