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Age Structure of the Workforce and Firm Performance

Author

Listed:
  • Grund, Christian

    (Department of Business and Economics)

  • Westergård-Nielsen, Niels

    () (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

Abstract

In this contribution, we examine the interrelation between corporate age structures and firm performance. In particular, we address the issues, whether firms with young rather than older employees are successful and whether firms with homogeneous or heterogeneous workforces are doing well. Several theoretical approaches are discussed with respect to these questions and divergent hypotheses are derived. Using Danish linked employer-employee data, we find that both mean age and dispersion of age in firms are inversely u-shaped related to firm performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Grund, Christian & Westergård-Nielsen, Niels, 2005. "Age Structure of the Workforce and Firm Performance," Working Papers 05-10, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2005_010
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 1-9.
    3. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
    4. Jacques Cremer, 1986. "Cooperation in Ongoing Organizations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 33-49.
    5. Bengt Holmström, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 169-182.
    6. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
    7. George Akerlof, 1976. "The Economics of Caste and of the Rat Race and Other Woeful Tales," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 599-617.
    8. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm performance; Corporate age structures; Demographic change;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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