The peculiar case of age discrimination: Americanising the European social model?

Nick Adnett, Stephen Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The Lisbon Strategy commits the EU to making labour market regulation more employment friendly with commentators anticipating some resulting convergence on the US model. Surprisingly, part of this post-Lisbon convergence has taken the form of a major extension of EU Social Policy with the expansion of anti-discrimination policies to address the case of age discrimination. We argue that unlike the US experience, it is the current preoccupation with raising European employment rates that has led to this expansion of 'hard law' Social Europe. We are unable to provide an efficiency rationale for this extension and assess alternative explanations. We also provide arguments suggesting that its impact is likely to differ from those experienced in the US.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-41
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Law and Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Age discrimination
  • Employment law
  • Social Europe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law


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