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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. 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.
  2. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The Skill Content Of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1279-1333, November.
  3. Grund, Christian & Westergård-Nielsen, Niels, 2005. "Age Structure of the Workforce and Firm Performance," Working Papers 05-10, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Dostie, Benoit, 2006. "Wages, Productivity and Aging," IZA Discussion Papers 2496, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  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. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Vegard Skirbekk, 2003. "Age and individual productivity: a literature survey," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-028, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  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. 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.
  13. 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.
  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. 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.
  16. Malmberg, Bo & Lindh, Thomas & Halvarsson, Max, 2005. "Productivity consequences of workforce ageing - Stagnation or a Horndal effect?," Arbetsrapport 2005:17, Institute for Futures Studies.
  17. Johnson, William R, 1978. "A Theory of Job Shopping," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 261-78, May.
  18. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Lovász, Anna & Rigó, Mariann, 2013. "Vintage effects, aging and productivity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 47-60.
  6. V. Vandenberghe, 2011. "Boosting the Employment Rate of Older Men and Women," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(2), pages 159-191, June.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  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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