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

Do only new brooms sweep clean? A review on workforce age and innovation

Contents:

Author Info

  • Katharina Frosch

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

Abstract

The relationship between age and creative performance has been found to follow a hump-shaped profile in the arts and sciences, and in great technological achievement. Accordingly, accelerating workforce aging raises concern about whether future capacity to innovate is endangered. This paper provides a review of existing studies exploring age effects on innovative performance, both at the individual and the macro levels. Empirical evidence confirms the hump-shaped relationship between workers’ ages and innovative performance, with the highest levels of performance seen between ages 30 and 50, depending on the domain. Industrial invention in knowledge-intensive fields, and great invention in general, seem to be a young man’s game. Yet in more experience-based fields, innovative performance peaks later, and remains stable until late in the career. Moreover, the quality of invention remains rather stable at older ages. However, individual-level evidence has to be interpreted with caution due to the presence of selectivity biases and unobserved heterogeneity. Studies at the levels of firms, regions, and countries address some of these issues. Results of these studies have indicated that young professionals drive knowledge absorption, innovation, and technological progress, whereas more experienced workers are more relevant in mature technological regimes. Apart from integrating the existing empirical evidence on different levels of aggregation, a strong focus is on methodological issues and conceptual challenges. This review therefore provides a sound basis for further studies on the impact of workforce aging on innovative performance. In addition, promising directions for future research are proposed.

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://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2009-005.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2009-005.

as in new window
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2009-005

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

Related research

Keywords:

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. Irene Bertschek & Jenny Meyer, 2008. "Do Older Workers Lower IT-Enabled Productivity? Firm-Level Evidence from Germany," DRUID Working Papers 08-17, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  2. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1990. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," DELTA Working Papers 90-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain The Rising Return To College For Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746, May.
  4. Jones, C.I., 2000. "Sources of U.S. Economic Growth in a World of Ideas," Papers 99-29, United Nations World Employment Programme-.
  5. Dostie, Benoit, 2006. "Wages, Productivity and Aging," IZA Discussion Papers 2496, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. Giuri, Paola & Mariani, Myriam, 2008. "Inventors and the Geographical Breadth of Knowledge Spillovers," Papers DYNREG31, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  8. Henseke, Golo & Tivig, Thusnelda, 2007. "Demographic change and industry-specific innovation patterns in Germany," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 72, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
  9. Giuri, Paola & Mariani, Myriam, 2007. "Inventors and invention processes in Europe: Results from the PatVal-EU survey," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1105-1106, October.
  10. Meyer, Jenny, 2008. "Older Workers and the Adoption of New Technologies," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-050 [rev.], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  11. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin, 2006. "Institutionalized Incentives for Ingenuity – Patent Value and the German Employees’ Inventions Act," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 1262, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
  12. Wolfgang Lutz & Anne Goujon & Samir K.C. & Warren Sanderson, 2007. "Reconstruction of population by age, sex and level of educational attainment of 120 countries for 1970-2000," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 5(1), pages 193-235.
  13. Roger, Muriel & Aubert, Patrick & Caroli, Eve, 2006. "New technologies, organisation and age: firm-level evidence," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10051, Paris Dauphine University.
  14. Schettino, Francesco & Sterlacchini, Alessandro & Venturini, Francesco, 2013. "Inventive productivity and patent quality: Evidence from Italian inventors," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1043-1056.
  15. 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.
  16. Benjamin F. Jones, 2005. "Age and Great Invention," NBER Working Papers 11359, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Werner Bönte & Oliver Falck & Stephan Heblich, 2007. "Demography and Innovative Entrepreneurship," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-084, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  18. Lutz Schneider, 2006. "Sind ältere Beschäftigte weniger produktiv? Eine empirische Analyse anhand des LIAB," IWH Discussion Papers 13, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  19. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  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. Hoisl, Karin, 2007. "Tracing mobile inventors--The causality between inventor mobility and inventor productivity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 619-636, June.
  23. Ilmakunnas, Pekka & Maliranta, Mika, 2007. "Aging, Labor Turnover and Firm Performance," Discussion Papers 1092, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  24. Benjamin F. Jones, 2005. "The Burden of Knowledge and the 'Death of the Renaissance Man': Is Innovation Getting Harder?," NBER Working Papers 11360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Malmberg, Bo & Lindh, Thomas & Halvarsson, Max, 2005. "Productivity consequences of workforce ageing - Stagnation or a Horndal effect?," Arbetsrapport 2005:17, Institute for Futures Studies.
  26. Weinberg, Bruce A., 2004. "Experience and Technology Adoption," IZA Discussion Papers 1051, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  27. Haegeland, T. & Klette, T.J., 1998. "Do Higher Wages Reflect Higher Productivity? Education, Gender and Experience Premiums in a Matched Plant-Worker Data Set," Memorandum 24/1998, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  28. Brunow, Stephan & Hirte, Georg, 2005. "Age Structure and Regional Income Growth," Discussion Papers 1/2005, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Transportation and Traffic Sciences "Friedrich List", Institute for Transport and Economics.
  29. Julia I. Lane & John C. Haltiwanger & James Spletzer, 1999. "Productivity Differences across Employers: The Roles of Employer Size, Age, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 94-98, May.
  30. James Feyrer, 2007. "Demographics and Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 100-109, February.
  31. Mariani, Myriam & Romanelli, Marzia, 2007. ""Stacking" and "picking" inventions: The patenting behavior of European inventors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1128-1142, October.
  32. Pekka Ilmakunnas & Mika Maliranta & Jari Vainiomäki, 2004. "The Roles of Employer and Employee Characteristics for Plant Productivity," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 249-276, May.
  33. Lutz Schneider, 2007. "Alterung und technologisches Innovationspotential : Eine Linked-Employer-Employee-Analyse," IWH Discussion Papers 2, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  34. Bruno Crépon & Nicolas Deniau & Sébastien Pérez-Duarte, 2003. "Wages, Productivity and Worker Characteristics : A French Perspective," Working Papers 2003-04, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  35. Francesco Daveri & Mika Maliranta, 2007. "Age, seniority and labour costs: lessons from the Finnish IT revolution," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 22, pages 117-175, 01.
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. Fryges, Helmut & Müller, Bettina & Niefert, Michaela, 2013. "Job machine, think tank, or both: What makes corporate spinoffs different?," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-093, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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:dem:wpaper:wp-2009-005. 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: (Peter Wilhelm).

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.