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Are technological change and organizational change biased against older workers? Firm-level evidence

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    Abstract

    Recent decades have been characterized by rapid technological change. In the same period, early withdrawal from the labor market has increased markedly. One particular question concerns the effects of technological change and organizational change on the labor market participation of workers of different ages. The question posed in this paper is whether technological change and organizational change are biased against age, thereby causing a shift in demand from older to younger workers. We estimate the effects of organizational change and technological change on wage bill shares for five age groups. By using panel data, we control for unobserved firm fixed effects. The results indicate that organizational change raises the wage bill share for workers in their forties but lowers the share for workers in their fifties. The wage bill shares of the youngest and oldest workers are hardly affected by organizational change and technological change. Separate estimates for men and women yield qualitatively similar results. In regressions for different educational levels, wage bill shares are positively affected by organizational change for highly educated individuals in their thirties. Technological change increases the wage bill share of highly educated workers in their sixties. For workers with intermediate and lower levels of education, the results are similar to those obtained from the whole sample.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 512.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:512

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    Keywords: technological change; organizational change; age-biased labor demand;

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    1. Roger, Muriel & Aubert, Patrick & Caroli, Eve, 2006. "New technologies, organisation and age: firm-level evidence," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10051, Paris Dauphine University.
    2. Eli Berman & John Bound & Stephen Machin, 1998. "Implications Of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1245-1279, November.
    3. Markus Mobius & Raphael Schoenle, 2006. "The Evolution of Work," Working Papers 25, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
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    7. Black, Sandra E & Lynch, Lisa M, 1996. "Human-Capital Investments and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 263-67, May.
    8. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
    9. Borghans,Lex & Weel,Bas,ter, 2002. "Do Older Workers Have More Trouble Using a Computer Than Younger Workers?," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    10. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
    12. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Eve Caroli & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence From A Panel Of British And French Establishments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1449-1492, November.
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