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Faculty of Economics


Linton, O. B., Rau, R., Baert, P., Bossaerts, P., Crowcroft, J., Evans, G.R., Ewart, P., Gay, N., Kattuman, P., Scholtes, S., Sabourian, H., Smith, R. J.

Is the EJRA proportionate and therefore justified? A critical review of the EJRA policy at Cambridge


Abstract: This paper critically evaluates the HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) Data Report for the Employer Justified Retirement Age (EJRA) Review Group at the University of Cambridge (Cambridge 2024), identifying significant methodological flaws and misinterpretations. Our analysis reveals issues such as unclear application of data filters, inconsistent variable treatment, and erroneous statistical conclusions. The Report suggests that the EJRA increased job creation rates at Cambridge, but we show Cambridge consistently had lower job creation rates for Established Academic Careers compared to other Russell Group universities, both before and after EJRA implementation in 2011, with no evidence for a significant change in this deficit post implementation. This suggests that EJRA is not a significant factor driving job creation rates. Since other universities without an EJRA exhibit higher job creation rates, this suggests job creation can be sustained without such a policy. We conclude that the EJRA did not achieve its intended goal of increasing opportunities for young academics and may have exacerbated existing disparities compared to other leading universities. We recommend EJRA be abolished at Cambridge since it does not meet its aims and could be viewed as unlawful age discrimination.

Keywords: Discrimination, Job Creation, Retirement, Treatment Effect, Universities

JEL Codes: C12 C21 C23 J21 J26 J63 J83

Author links: Oliver Linton  Peter Bossaerts  Hamid Sabourian  Richard J Smith