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Ageing, productivity and wages in Austria

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  • Mahlberg, Bernhard
  • Freund, Inga
  • Crespo Cuaresma, Jesús
  • Prskawetz, Alexia

Abstract

Current demographic developments in industrialized countries and their consequences for workforce ageing challenge the sustainability of intergenerational transfers and economic growth. A shrinking share of the young workforce will have to support a growing share of elderly, non-working people. Therefore, the productivity of the workforce is central to a sustainable economic future. Using a new matched employer–employee panel dataset for Austrian firms for the period 2002–2005, we study the relationship between the age structure of employees, labour productivity and wages. These data allow us to account, simultaneously, for both socio-demographic characteristics of employees and firm heterogeneity, in order to explain labour productivity and earnings. Our results indicate that firm productivity is not negatively related to the share of older employees it employs. We also find no evidence for overpayment of older employees. Our results do not show any association between wages and the share of older employees. Furthermore, we find a negative relationship between the share of young employees and labour productivity as well as wages, which is more prevalent in the industry and construction sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Mahlberg, Bernhard & Freund, Inga & Crespo Cuaresma, Jesús & Prskawetz, Alexia, 2013. "Ageing, productivity and wages in Austria," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 5-15.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:22:y:2013:i:c:p:5-15
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2012.09.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Age–productivity/–wage profile; Employer–employee data; Sector affiliation;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition

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