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Are Young and Old WorkersS Harmful for Firm Productivity ?

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  • Thierry Lallemand
  • François Rycx

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 ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 09-002.RS.

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Length: 33 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:09-002

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Keywords: Firm performance; Workforce age structure; Demographic changes;

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References

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  1. Vegard Skirbekk, 2003. "Age and individual productivity: a literature survey," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-028, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  2. Dostie, Benoit, 2006. "Wages, Productivity and Aging," IZA Discussion Papers 2496, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  4. Malmberg, Bo & Lindh, Thomas & Halvarsson, Max, 2005. "Productivity consequences of workforce ageing - Stagnation or a Horndal effect?," Arbetsrapport, Institute for Futures Studies 2005:17, Institute for Futures Studies.
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  6. 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).
  7. Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman & Francois Rycx, 2007. "Wage Structure and Firm Productivity in Belgium," NBER Working Papers 12978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2004. "Production Function and Wage Equation Estimation with Heterogeneous Labor: Evidence from a New Matched Employer-Employee Data Set," NBER Working Papers 10325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 409-46, July.
  12. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  13. 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.
  14. François Rycx & Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman, 2004. "Intra-firm wage dispersion and firm performance: evidence from linked employer-employee data," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/781, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  15. 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.
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  18. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lovász, Anna & Rigó, Mariann, 2013. "Vintage effects, aging and productivity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 47-60.
  2. Philip Du Caju & François Rycx & Ilan Tojerow, 2008. "Rent-Sharing and the Cyclicality of Wage Differentials," Working Papers CEB, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles 08-035.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Vandenberghe, V., 2013. "Are firms willing to employ a greying and feminizing workforce?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 30-46.
  4. Fabrizio Castellucci & Giovanni Pica, 2009. "The Age-Productivity Gradient: Evidence from a Sample of F1 Drivers," CSEF Working Papers, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy 226, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  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. Weiss M. & Börsch-Supan A., 2013. "Productivity and age: Evidence from work teams at the assembly line," ROA Research Memorandum 009, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  7. 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.
  8. V. Vandenberghe, 2011. "Boosting the Employment Rate of Older Men and Women," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(2), pages 159-191, June.
  9. 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.
  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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