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Are Young and Old Workers Harmful for Firm Productivity?

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  • Lallemand, Thierry

    ()
    (Free University of Brussels)

  • Rycx, Francois

    ()
    (Free University of Brussels)

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of the workforce age structure on the productivity of large Belgian firms. More precisely, it examines different scenarios of changes in the proportion of young (16-29 years), middle-aged (30-49 years) and old (more than 49 years) workers and their expected effects on firm productivity. Using detailed matched employer-employee data, we find that a higher share of young (old) workers within firms is favourable (harmful) for firm value added per capita. Results also show that age structure effects on productivity are stronger in ICT than in non-ICT firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3938.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: De Economist, 2009, 157 (3), 273-292
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3938

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Keywords: firm performance; demographic changes; workforce age structure;

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References

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  1. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Malmberg, Bo & Lindh, Thomas & Halvarsson, Max, 2005. "Productivity consequences of workforce ageing - Stagnation or a Horndal effect?," Arbetsrapport 2005:17, Institute for Futures Studies.
  3. Vegard Skirbekk, 2003. "Age and individual productivity: a literature survey," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-028, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  4. Robert Plasman & Thierry Lallemand & François Rycx, 2005. "Wage structure and firm productivity in Belgium," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8058, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341, 04.
  6. 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.
  7. Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman & François Rycx, 2004. "Intra-Firm Wage Dispersion and Firm Performance: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 533-558, November.
  8. Benoit Dostie, 2007. "Wages, Productivity and Aging," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-02, CIRANO.
  9. Susanna Iranzo & Fabiano Schivardi & Elisa Tosetti, 2006. "Skill dispersion and firm productivity; an analysis with employer-employee matched data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 577, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  10. Torbjørn Hægeland & Tor Jakob Klette, 1997. "Do Higher Wages Reflect Higher Productivity? Education, Gender and Experience Premiums in a Matched Plant-Worker Data Set," Discussion Papers 208, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  11. Pekka Ilmakunnas & Mika Maliranta, 2005. "Technology, Labour Characteristics and Wage-productivity Gaps," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(5), pages 623-645, October.
  12. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2007. "Production Function and Wage Equation Estimation with Heterogeneous Labor: Evidence from a New Matched Employer-Employee Data Set," NBER Chapters, in: Hard-to-Measure Goods and Services: Essays in Honor of Zvi Griliches, pages 31-71 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  14. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2001. "The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 8337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. Grund, Christian & Westergård-Nielsen, Niels C., 2005. "Age Structure of the Workforce and Firm Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 1816, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 1996. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," NBER Working Papers 5626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Johnson, William R, 1978. "A Theory of Job Shopping," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 261-78, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Philip Du Caju & François Rycx & Ilan Tojerow, 2008. "Rent-sharing and the cyclicality of wage differentials," DULBEA Working Papers 08-23.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Christian Göbel & Thomas Zwick, 2012. "Age and Productivity: Sector Differences," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(1), pages 35-57, March.
  3. Vincent VANDENBERGHE, 2012. "Are firms willing to employ a greying and feminizing workforce?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2012016, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  4. V. Vandenberghe, 2011. "Boosting the Employment Rate of Older Men and Women," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(2), pages 159-191, June.
  5. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Weiss, Matthias, 2011. "Productivity and age: Evidence from work teams at the assembly line," MEA discussion paper series 07148, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  6. Göbel, Christian & Zwick, Thomas, 2013. "Are personnel measures effective in increasing productivity of old workers?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 80-93.
  7. Castellucci, Fabrizio & Padula, Mario & Pica, Giovanni, 2011. "The age-productivity gradient: Evidence from a sample of F1 drivers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 464-473, August.
  8. Mariann RIGO & Vincent VANDENBERGHE & Fabio WALTENBERG, 2012. "Ageing and Employability. Evidence from Belgian Firm-Level Data," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2012011, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  9. Ana Cardoso & Paulo Guimarães & José Varejão, 2011. "Are Older Workers Worthy of Their Pay? An Empirical Investigation of Age-Productivity and Age-Wage Nexuses," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(2), pages 95-111, June.
  10. Lovász, Anna & Rigó, Mariann, 2013. "Vintage effects, aging and productivity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 47-60.

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