Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Are firms willing to employ a greying and feminizing workforce?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Vincent VANDENBERGHE

    ()
    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), Economics School of Louvain (ESL),)

Abstract

Are employers willing to employ more older individuals, in particular older women? Higher employment among the older segments of the population will only materialise if firms are willing to employ them. Although several economists have started considering the demand side of the labour market for older individuals, few have considered its gender dimension properly; despite evidence that lifting the overall senior employment rate in the EU requires significantly raising that of women older than 50. In this paper, we posit that labour demand and employability depend to a large extent on how the age/gender composition of the workforce affects firm’s profits. Using unique firm-level panel data we produce robust evidence on the causal effect of age/gender on productivity (value added per worker), total labour costs and gross profits. We take advantage of the panel structure of data and resort to first differences to deal with a potential time-invariant heterogeneity bias. Moreover, inspired by recent developments in the production function estimation literature, we also address the risk of simultaneity bias (endogeneity of firm’s age-gender mix choices in the short run) by combining first differences with i) the structural approach suggested by Ackerberg, Caves & Frazer (2006), ii) alongside more traditional IV-GMM methods (Blundell & Bond, 1998) where lagged values of labour inputs are used as instruments. Results suggest no negative impact of rising shares of older men on firm’s gross profits, but a large negative effect of larger shares of older women. Another interesting result is that the vast and highly feminized services industry does not seem to offer working conditions that mitigate older women’s productivity and employability disadvantage, on the contrary. This is not good news for older women’s employability and calls for policy interventions in the Belgian private economy aimed at combating women’s decline of productivity with age and/or better adapting labour costs to age-gender productivity profiles.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://sites.uclouvain.be/econ/DP/IRES/2012016.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2012016.

as in new window
Length: 49
Date of creation: 18 Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2012016

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Place Montesquieu 3, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
Fax: +32 10473945
Email:
Web page: http://www.uclouvain.be/ires
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: ageing workforce; gender; productivity; profitability; linked employer-employee data; endogeneity and simultaneity bias;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Cardoso, Ana Rute & Guimaraes, Paulo & Varejão, José, 2010. "Are Older Workers Worthy of Their Pay? An Empirical Investigation of Age-Productivity and Age-Wage Nexuses," IZA Discussion Papers 5121, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Benoit Dostie & Pierre Thomas Léger, 2011. "Firm-Sponsored Classroom Training: is it Worth it for Older Workers ?," Cahiers de recherche 1136, CIRPEE.
  3. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2009. "Does the Welfare State Make Older Workers Unemployable?," IDEI Working Papers 569, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  4. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Schnabel, Reinhold & Wunderlich, Gaby, 2001. "The gender gap in labor market participation and employment: a cohort analysis for West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-47, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. David Dorn & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2010. "'Voluntary' and 'involuntary' early retirement: an international analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(4), pages 427-438.
  6. Vincent VANDENBERGHE, 2011. "Boosting the employment rate of older men and women," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011010, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  7. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 1995. "Are Earnings Profiles Steeper Than Productivity Profiles? Evidence from Israeli Firm-Level Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 89-112.
  8. Mitchell, Olivia S & Fields, Gary S, 1984. "The Economics of Retirement Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 84-105, January.
  9. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Z, Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1997. "Production Functions : The Search for Identification," Working Papers 97-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  11. Jan Ours & Lenny Stoeldraijer, 2011. "Age, Wage and Productivity in Dutch Manufacturing," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(2), pages 113-137, June.
  12. Alessandra Cataldi & Stephan Kampelmann & François Rycx, 2011. "Productivity-Wage Gaps Among Age Groups: Does the ICT Environment Matter?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(2), pages 193-221, June.
  13. Dostie, Benoit, 2006. "Wages, Productivity and Aging," IZA Discussion Papers 2496, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Pozzebon, Silvana & Mitchell, Olivia S, 1989. "Married Women's Retirement Behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 39-53.
  15. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Retirement Decision in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 202, OECD Publishing.
  16. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. Anne C. Case & Christina Paxson, 2004. "Sex Differences in Morbidity and Mortality," NBER Working Papers 10653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Vincent Vandenberghe, 2011. "Firm‐level Evidence on Gender Wage Discrimination in the Belgian Private Economy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 25(3), pages 330-349, 09.
  19. JOUSTEN, Alain & LEFEBVRE, Mathieu & PERELMAN, Sergio & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "The effects of early retirement on youth unemployment: the case of Belgium," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2199, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  20. Malmberg, Bo & Lindh, Thomas & Halvarsson, Max, 2005. "Productivity consequences of workforce ageing - Stagnation or a Horndal effect?," Arbetsrapport 2005:17, Institute for Futures Studies.
  21. Hellerstein, Judith K & Neumark, David & Troske, Kenneth R, 1999. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 409-46, July.
  22. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Peracchi, Franco & Welch, Finis, 1994. "Trends in Labor Force Transitions of Older Men and Women," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 210-42, April.
  24. Christian Grund & Niels Westergaard-Nielsen, 2008. "Age structure of the workforce and firm performance," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 29(5), pages 410-422, September.
  25. Pierre Pestieau & Mathieu Lefèbvre & Alain Jousten & Sergio Perelman, 2008. "The Effects of Early Retirementon Youth Unemployment," IMF Working Papers 08/30, International Monetary Fund.
  26. Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2004. "Production Function and Wage Equation Estimation with Heterogenous Labor: Evidence from a New Matched Employer-Employee Dataset," Working Papers 04-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  27. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  28. Chad Syverson, 2010. "What Determines Productivity?," NBER Working Papers 15712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Göbel, Christian & Zwick, Thomas, 2009. "Age and productivity: evidence from linked employer employee data," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-020, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  30. Patrick Aubert & Bruno Crépon, 2003. "La productivité des salariés âgés : une tentative d'estimation," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 368(1), pages 95-119.
  31. Lallemand, Thierry & Rycx, Francois, 2009. "Are Young and Old Workers Harmful for Firm Productivity?," IZA Discussion Papers 3938, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  32. Richard Blundell & Stephen Bond, 2000. "GMM Estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 321-340.
  33. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  34. Pfeifer, Christian & Wagner, Joachim, 2012. "Age and Gender Composition of the Workforce, Productivity and Profits: Evidence from a New Type of Data for German Enterprises," IZA Discussion Papers 6381, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  35. Adriaan Kalwij & Frederic Vermeulen, 2008. "Health and labour force participation of older people in Europe: What do objective health indicators add to the analysis?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(5), pages 619-638.
  36. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Andrea Garnero & François Rycx, 2013. "The heterogeneous effects of workforce diversity on productivity, wages and profits," Working Papers CEB 13-015, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Bloom, David E. & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2013. "Ageing and productivity," FZID Discussion Papers 63-2012, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  3. Lara LEBEDINSKI & Vincent VANDENBERGHE, 2013. "Assessing education's contribution to productivity using firm-level evidence," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013017, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  4. Bloom, David E. & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2013. "Ageing and Productivity: Introduction," IZA Discussion Papers 7205, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2012016. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne DAVISTER-LOGIST).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.