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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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Related research

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

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Susana Iranzo & Fabiano Schivardi & Elisa Tosetti, 2008. "Skill Dispersion and Firm Productivity: An Analysis with Employer-Employee Matched Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 247-285, 04.
  3. Robert Plasman & Thierry Lallemand & François Rycx, 2005. "Wage structure and firm productivity in Belgium," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8058, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. 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.
  5. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  6. Vegard Skirbekk, 2003. "Age and individual productivity: a literature survey," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-028, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Benoit Dostie, 2006. "Wages, Productivity and Aging," Cahiers de recherche 06-15, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
  13. Johnson, William R, 1978. "A Theory of Job Shopping," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 261-78, May.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  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. Malmberg, Bo & Lindh, Thomas & Halvarsson, Max, 2005. "Productivity consequences of workforce ageing - Stagnation or a Horndal effect?," Arbetsrapport 2005:17, Institute for Futures Studies.
  18. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. V. Vandenberghe, 2011. "Boosting the Employment Rate of Older Men and Women," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(2), pages 159-191, June.
  2. Weiss, Matthias & Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2011. "Productivity and age: Evidence from work teams at the assembly line," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48719, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Vandenberghe, V., 2013. "Are firms willing to employ a greying and feminizing workforce?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 30-46.
  4. Du Caju, Philip & Rycx, Francois & Tojerow, Ilan, 2008. "Rent-Sharing and the Cyclicality of Wage Differentials," IZA Discussion Papers 3844, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. V. Vandenberghe & F. Waltenberg & M. Rigo, 2013. "Ageing and employability. Evidence from Belgian firm-level data," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 111-136, August.
  6. Fabrizio Castellucci & Giovanni Pica, 2009. "The Age-Productivity Gradient: Evidence from a Sample of F1 Drivers," CSEF Working Papers 226, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  7. Göbel, Christian & Zwick, Thomas, 2011. "Age and productivity: Sector differences?," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-058, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Lovász, Anna & Rigó, Mariann, 2013. "Vintage effects, aging and productivity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 47-60.
  9. 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).
  10. Göbel, Christian & Zwick, Thomas, 2013. "Are personnel measures effective in increasing productivity of old workers?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 80-93.

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