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Age and gender composition of the workforce, productivity and profits: Evidence from a new type of data for German enterprises

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Author Info

  • Christian Pfeifer

    ()
    (Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany)

  • Joachim Wagner

    ()
    (Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany)

Abstract

This empirical paper documents the relationship between composition of a firm's workforce (with a special focus on age and gender) and its performance (productivity and profitability) for a large representative sample of enterprises from manufacturing industries in Germany. We use unique newly available data that for the first time combine information from the statistics of employees covered by social security that is aggregated at the enterprise level and information from enterprise level surveys performed by the Statistical Offices. Our microeconometric analysis confirms previous findings of concave age-productivity profiles, which are consistent with human capital theory, and adds a new finding of a rather negative effect of age on firms' profitability, which is consistent with deferred compensation considerations. Moreover, our analysis reveals for the first time that the ceteris paribus lower level of productivity in firms with a higher share of female employees does not go hand in hand with a lower level of profitability in these firms. If anything, profitability is (slightly) higher in firms with a larger share of female employees. This finding might indicate that lower productivity of women is (over)compensated by lower wage costs for women, which might be driven by general labor market discrimination against women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 232.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:232

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Web page: http://leuphana.de/institute/ivwl.html

Related research

Keywords: Ageing; firm performance; gender; productivity; profitability; Germany;

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References

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  1. Thierry Lallemand & François Rycx, 2009. "Are Older Workers Harmful for Firm Productivity?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 273-292, September.
  2. 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.
  3. Chad Syverson, 2010. "What Determines Productivity?," NBER Working Papers 15712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dostie, Benoit, 2006. "Wages, Productivity and Aging," IZA Discussion Papers 2496, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  6. on Exports and Productivity, The International Study Group, 2007. "EXPORTS AND PRODUCTIVITY - comparable evidence for 14 countries," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 110, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  7. Humpert, Stephan & Pfeifer, Christian, 2013. "Explaining age and gender differences in employment rates : a labor supply side perspective," Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 46(1), pages 1-17.
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  14. 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.
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  20. 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.
  21. Jan Ours & Lenny Stoeldraijer, 2011. "Age, Wage and Productivity in Dutch Manufacturing," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(2), pages 113-137, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christian Pfeifer & Joachim Wagner, 2012. "Is innovative firm behavior correlated with age and gender composition of the workforce? Evidence from a new type of data for German enterprises," Working Paper Series in Economics 256, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  2. Stephan Humpert, 2012. "Age and Gender Differences in Job Opportunities," Working Paper Series in Economics 235, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  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. Karsten Wasiluk, 2014. "Technology Adoption and Demographic Change," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2014-05, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.

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