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Age Biased Technical and Organisational Change, Training and Employment Prospects of Older Workers


  • Behaghel, L.
  • Caroli, E.
  • Roger, M.


We analyze the role of training in mitigating the negative impact of technical and organizational changes on the employment of older workers. Using a panel of French firms in the late 1990s, our empirical analysis confirms that new technologies and some innovative workplace practices are biased against older workers. The use of the Internet and the adoption of computer networks tend to increase the wage share of middle-aged workers and to reduce the share of workers older than 50. By contrast, the reduction of the number of hierarchical layers is favourable to older workers. Training contributes to protect older workers in terms of employment and/or of wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Behaghel, L. & Caroli, E. & Roger, M., 2013. "Age Biased Technical and Organisational Change, Training and Employment Prospects of Older Workers," Working papers 431, Banque de France.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:431

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Patrick Aubert & Eve Caroli & Muriel Roger, 2006. "New technologies, organisation and age: firm-level evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(509), pages 73-93, February.
    2. Dag Rønningen, 2007. "Are technological change and organizational change biased against older workers? Firm-level evidence," Discussion Papers 512, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
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    4. P. Biscourp & B. Crépon & T. Heckel & N. Riedinger, 2002. "How do firms respond to cheaper computers? Microeconometric evidence for France based on a production function approach," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2002-05, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.
    5. Michael Beckmann, 2007. "Age-Biased Technological and Organizational Change: Firm-Level Evidence and Management Implications," Working papers 2007/05, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    6. Picchio, Matteo & van Ours, Jan C., 2013. "Retaining through training even for older workers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 29-48.
    7. Torbjørn Hægeland & Dag Rønningen & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "Adapt or withdraw? Evidence on technological changes and early retirement using matched worker-firm data," Discussion Papers 509, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    8. Leora Friedberg, 2003. "The Impact of Technological Change on Older Workers: Evidence from Data on Computer Use," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 511-529, April.
    9. Bartel, Ann P & Sicherman, Nachum, 1993. "Technological Change and Retirement Decisions of Older Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 162-183, January.
    10. Michele Boldrin & Juan J. Dolado & Juan F. Jimeno & Franco Peracchi, 1999. "The future of pensions in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(29), pages 287-320, October.
    11. Andrea Bassanini, 2006. "Training, wages and employment security: an empirical analysis on European data," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(8), pages 523-527.
    12. Schleife, Katrin, 2008. "IT Training and Employability of Older Workers," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-021, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    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, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1449-1492.
    14. Michele Boldrin & Juan J. Dolado & Juan F. Jimeno & Franco Peracchi, "undated". "The future of pension systems in Europe. A reappraisal," Working Papers 99-08, FEDEA.
    15. 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).
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    18. Younghwan Song, 2009. "Training, Technological Changes, and Displacement," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 201-218, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:joevec:v:28:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00191-016-0486-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Fries, Jan, 2014. "Age and skill bias of trade liberalisation? Heterogeneous employment effects of EU Eastern Enlargement," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-113, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Grillitsch, Markus & Schubert, Torben & Srholec, Martin, 2016. "Knowledge diversity and firm growth: Searching for a missing link," Papers in Innovation Studies 2016/13, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    4. Guerrazzi, Marco, 2014. "Workforce ageing and the training propensity of Italian firms: cross-sectional evidence from the INDACO survey," MPRA Paper 56826, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Anne Sonnet & Hilde Olsen & Thomas Manfredi, 2014. "Towards More Inclusive Ageing and Employment Policies: The Lessons from France, The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland," De Economist, Springer, vol. 162(4), pages 315-339, December.
    6. Sandulli, Francesco D. & Baker, Paul M.A. & López-Sánchez, José I., 2013. "Can small and medium enterprises benefit from skill-biased technological change?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 1976-1982.
    7. Torben Schubert & Martin Andersson, 2015. "Old is gold? The effects of employee age on innovation and the moderating effects of employment turnover," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1-2), pages 95-113, March.
    8. Jorge Calero & Álvaro Choi, 2015. "The distribution of skills among the European adult population and unemployment: a comparative approach," Working Papers 2015/35, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).

    More about this item


    Technical change; organizational change; training; older workers.;

    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
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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