IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/dem/wpaper/wp-2003-028.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Age and individual productivity: a literature survey

Author

Listed:
  • Vegard Skirbekk

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

Abstract

This article surveys supervisors’ ratings, work-sample tests, analyzes of employer-employee datasets and other approaches used to estimate how individual productivity varies by age. The causes of productivity variations over the life cycle are addressed with an emphasis on how cognitive abilities affect labor market performance. Individual job performance is found to decrease from around 50 years of age, which contrasts almost life-long increases in wages. Productivity reductions at older ages are particularly strong for work tasks where problem solving, learning and speed are needed, while in jobs where experience and verbal abilities are important, older individuals’ maintain a relatively high productivity level.

Suggested Citation

  • Vegard Skirbekk, 2003. "Age and individual productivity: a literature survey," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-028, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2003-028
    DOI: 10.4054/MPIDR-WP-2003-028
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.demogr.mpg.de/en/projects_publications/publications_1904/book_chapters/age_and_individual_productivity_a_literature_survey_1795.htm
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2003-028.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.4054/MPIDR-WP-2003-028?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David W. Galenson & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2000. "Age and the Quality of Work: The Case of Modern American Painters," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 761-777, August.
    2. D. Kate Rubin & Jeffrey M. Perloff, 1993. "Who Works for Piece Rates and Why," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 75(4), pages 1036-1043.
    3. John H. Tyler & Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett, 2000. "Do the Cognitive Skills of School Dropouts Matter in the Labor Market?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 748-754.
    4. Sharon M. Oster & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1998. "Aging And Productivity Among Economists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 154-156, February.
    5. 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.
    6. William J. Baumol & Edward N. Wolff, 1996. "Protracted Frictional Unemployment as a Heavy Cost of Technical Progress," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_179, Levy Economics Institute.
    7. James L. Medoff & Katharine G. Abraham, 1980. "Experience, Performance, and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(4), pages 703-736.
    8. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Retirement Decision in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 202, OECD Publishing.
    9. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710, Elsevier.
    10. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
    11. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259, Elsevier.
    12. James L. Medoff & Katharine G. Abraham, 1981. "Are Those Paid More Really More Productive? The Case of Experience," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 16(2), pages 186-216.
    13. Pekka Ilmakunnas & Mika Maliranta & Jari Vainiomäki, 2004. "The Roles of Employer and Employee Characteristics for Plant Productivity," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 249-276, May.
    14. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    15. Edward P. Lazear & Robert L. Moore, 1984. "Incentives, Productivity, and Labor Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(2), pages 275-296.
    16. Andrew Jenkins, 2001. "Companies use of psychometric testing and the changing demand for skills: A review of the literature," CEE Discussion Papers 0012, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    17. Avner Ahituv & Joseph Zeira, 2011. "Technical Progress and Early Retirement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 171-193, March.
    18. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 1995. "Are Earnings Profiles Steeper Than Productivity Profiles? Evidence from Israeli Firm-Level Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 89-112.
    19. Kiyohiko G. Nishimura & Kazunori Minetaki & Masato Shirai & Futoshi Kurokawa, 2002. "Effects of Information Technology and Aging Work Force on Labor Demand and Technological Progress in Japanese Industries: 1980-1998," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-145, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    20. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    21. Torbjørn Hægeland & Tor Jakob Klette, 1997. "Do Higher Wages Reflect Higher Productivity? Education, Gender and Experience Premiums in a Matched Plant-Worker Data Set," Discussion Papers 208, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    22. Bernt Bratsberg & James F. Ragan Jr. & John T. Warren, 2003. "Negative Returns to Seniority: New Evidence in Academic Markets," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(2), pages 306-323, January.
    23. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-88-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Adjusting to an Aging Labor Force," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Aging, pages 287-316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. William A. Jackson, 1998. "The Political Economy of Population Ageing," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 765.
    26. 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.
    27. repec:cdl:agrebk:677083 is not listed on IDEAS
    28. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1999. "Early Test Scores, Socioeconomic Status and Future Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 6943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. H. M. Boot, 1995. "How skilled were Lancashire cotton factory workers in 1833?," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 48(2), pages 283-303, May.
    30. 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 409-446, July.
    31. Burgess, Simon & Rees, Hedley, 1996. "Job Tenure in Britain 1975-92," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 334-344, March.
    32. Boissiere, M & Knight, J B & Sabot, R H, 1985. "Earnings, Schooling, Ability, and Cognitive Skills," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1016-1030, December.
    33. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-266, May.
    34. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Yves Duhaldeborde & John H. Tyler, 2000. "How important are the cognitive skills of teenagers in predicting subsequent earnings?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 547-568.
    35. Daniel Rodriguez & Madeline Zavodny, 2003. "Changes in the Age and Education Profile of Displaced Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 498-510, April.
    36. Jeff Grogger & Eric Eide, 1995. "Changes in College Skills and the Rise in the College Wage Premium," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 280-310.
    37. Jenkins, Andrew, 2001. "Companies use of psychometric testing and the changing demand for skills: a review of the literature," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19541, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    38. Bruno Crépon & Nicolas Deniau & Sébastien Pérez-Duarte, 2003. "Wages, Productivity and Worker Characteristics : A French Perspective," Working Papers 2003-04, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    39. Hutchens, Robert M, 1989. "Seniority, Wages and Productivity: A Turbulent Decade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 49-64, Fall.
    40. Milton Harris & Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 315-333.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Paul Hek & Daniel Vuuren, 2011. "Are older workers overpaid? A literature review," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(4), pages 436-460, August.
    2. 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.
    3. Benoit Dostie, 2011. "Wages, Productivity and Aging," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(2), pages 139-158, June.
    4. John G. Sessions & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2014. "Tenure, Wage Profiles and Monitoring," Research in Labor Economics, in: Solomon W. Polachek & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.), New Analyses of Worker Well-Being, volume 38, pages 105-162, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    5. Ourania Karakosta & Nikos Tsakiris, 2009. "Indirect Tax Reforms and Public Goods under Imperfect Competition," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 5-2009, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    6. Castellucci, Fabrizio & Padula, Mario & Pica, Giovanni, 2011. "The age-productivity gradient: Evidence from a sample of F1 drivers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 464-473, August.
    7. Andrea Kunnert & Oliver Fritz & Dieter Pennerstorfer & Gerhard Streicher & Birgit Aigner & Thomas Döring, 2010. "Teilbericht 3: Alterung und regionale Wettbewerbsfähigkeit," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 41128, June.
    8. Emmanuel Saez & Manos Matsaganis & Panos Tsakloglou, 2012. "Earnings Determination and Taxes: Evidence From a Cohort-Based Payroll Tax Reform in Greece," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 493-533.
    9. Maciej Lis, 2017. "Productivity based selection to retirement: Evidence from EU-SILC," IBS Working Papers 02/2017, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    10. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2004. "Performance, seniority, and wages: formal salary systems and individual earnings profiles," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(6), pages 741-763, December.
    11. Bertschek Irene & Meyer Jenny, 2009. "Do Older Workers Lower IT-Enabled Productivity?: Firm-Level Evidence from Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(2-3), pages 327-342, April.
    12. Katharina Frosch, 2009. "Do only new brooms sweep clean? A review on workforce age and innovation," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-005, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    13. 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.
    14. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Weiss, Matthias, 2016. "Productivity and age: Evidence from work teams at the assembly line," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 7(C), pages 30-42.
    15. Daniel Vuuren, 2014. "Flexible Retirement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 573-593, July.
    16. Thomas Zwick, 2012. "Consequences of Seniority Wages on the Employment Structure," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(1), pages 108-125, January.
    17. Serneels, Pieter, 2008. "Human capital revisited: The role of experience and education when controlling for performance and cognitive skills," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1143-1161, December.
    18. KODAMA Naomi & ODAKI Kazuhiko, 2012. "A New Approach to Measuring the Gap between Marginal Productivity and Wages of Workers," Discussion papers 12028, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    19. Schneider, Lutz, 2011. "Zum Einfluss von Alter und Erfahrung auf Produktivitäts- und Lohnprofile - Befunde einer Linked-Employer-Employee-Analyse," VfS Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48728, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. Alberto Bayo-Moriones & Jose E. Galdon-Sanchez & Maia Güell, 2010. "Is seniority-based pay used as a motivational device? Evidence from plant-level data," Research in Labor Economics, in: Solomon W. Polachek & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.), Jobs, Training, and Worker Well-being, volume 30, pages 155-187, Emerald Publishing Ltd.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    working-age population;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2003-028. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.demogr.mpg.de/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Peter Wilhelm (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.demogr.mpg.de/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.