Writer David Neumark’s May 17 opinion piece, Study indicates older women need not apply, describes sending out more than 40,000 “fictitious” job applications to over 13,000 employers who had advertised jobs. Neumark and his colleagues found out — who knew? — that older women have a tough time getting jobs.
There is nothing fictitious about the thousands of hours employers must have spent receiving, evaluating and responding to the fictitious applications. Worse, real job applicants, older women, say, may have missed out on jobs because one of Neumark’s fictitious applicants looked better.
Neumark shows not the least awareness of the considerable costs he levied on employers and job applicants. They had not agreed to participate in his experiment, nor were they informed that they had been forced to do so.