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Are young and old workers 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Thierry Lallemand & François Rycx, 2009. "Are young and old workers harmful for firm productivity?," DULBEA Working Papers 09-02.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:09-02rs
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm performance; Workforce age structure; Demographic changes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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