Unraveling the age-productivity nexus: Confronting perceptions of employers and employees
AbstractWhat determines the perceived productivity of young and older workers? In this study we present evidence for (Dutch) employers and employees. By confronting the perceptions of employers and employees some remarkable similarities and differences are revealed. It turns out that productivity perceptions are biased by the age group to which one belongs and the position in the hierarchy in the organization. The young favor the young, the old favor the old and employers discount productivity compared to employees. However, there are also remarkable similarities across employer and employees. By distinguishing the various underlying dimensions of productivity of young and older workers we tested whether ‘soft’ skills and abilities within the organization are just as important as the ‘hard’ dimensions - cognitive and physically based skills - in the eye of employers and employees. It appears that employers and employees weight the soft and the hard dimensions of skills in a uniform way: hard skills are far more important than soft skills no matter whether the worker is old or young. By sharing the stereotypical images the problem of age discrimination may therefore not only be due to employers’ behaviors and attitudes, but also due to those of employees.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2009-4.
Date of creation: 2009
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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl
aging; stereotypes; productivity; employers;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
- M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGE-2009-01-31 (Economics of Ageing)
- NEP-ALL-2009-01-31 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2009-01-31 (Business Economics)
- NEP-CBE-2009-01-31 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2009-01-31 (Labour Economics)
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