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Positive Effects of Ageing and Age-Diversity in Innovative Companies - Large Scale Evidence on Company Productivity

Author

Listed:
  • Uschi Backes-Gellner

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

  • Stephan Veen

    (Disney Research Zurich)

Abstract

This paper investigates how age diversity within a companyÕs workforce affects company productivity. It introduces a theoretical framework that helps to integrate results from a broad disciplinary spectrum of ageing and diversity research to derive empirically testable hypotheses on the effects of age diversity on company productivity. It argues that first the balance between costs and benefits of diversity determines the effect of age diversity on company productivity and that second the type of task performed acts as a moderator. To test these hypotheses, it uses a large-scale employer-employee panel data set (the LIAB.) Results show that increasing age diversity has a positive effect on company productivity if and only if a company engages in creative rather than routine tasks.

Suggested Citation

  • Uschi Backes-Gellner & Stephan Veen, 2013. "Positive Effects of Ageing and Age-Diversity in Innovative Companies - Large Scale Evidence on Company Productivity," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0093, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0093
    as

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    File URL: http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/iso/leadinghouse/0093_lhwpaper.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Simone N. Tuor, 2010. "Avoiding Labor Shortages by Employer Signaling: On the Importance of Good Work Climate and Labor Relations," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 271-286, January.
    2. Lazear, Edward P, 1999. "Globalisation and the Market for Team-Mates," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages 15-40, March.
    3. Ennen, Edgar & Richter, Ansgar, 2009. "The Whole Is More Than the Sum of Its Parts - Or Is It? A Review of the Empirical Literature on Complementarities in Organizations," MPRA Paper 15666, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Francesco Daveri & Mika Maliranta, 2007. "Age, seniority and labour costs: lessons from the Finnish IT revolution," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 117-175, January.
    5. Haltiwanger, John C. & Lane, Julia I. & Spletzer, James R., 2007. "Wages, productivity, and the dynamic interaction of businesses and workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 575-602, June.
    6. Scott E. Page, 2007. "Prologue to The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies," Introductory Chapters,in: The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies Princeton University Press.
    7. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1713 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Martin R. Schneider & Stephan Veen, 2011. "Effect of Workforce Age on Quantitative and Qualitative Organizational Performance: Conceptual Framework and Case Study Evidence," Working Papers 0143, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    9. Alda, Holger & Bender, Stefan & Gartner, Hermann, 2005. "The linked employer-employee dataset of the IAB (LIAB)," IAB Discussion Paper 200506, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn, 2015. "The German Labor Market for Older Workers in Comparative Perspective," Research Papers in Economics 2015-02, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    2. Zheng Guo & Linchen Liu & Xuan Liu, 2016. "Population Aging, Marginal Propensity to Consume, and Economic Growth," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 6(9), pages 534-546, September.
    3. Liis Roosaar & Jaan Masso & Urmas Varblane, 2017. "The Structural Change And Labour Productivity Of Firms: Do Changes In The Age And Wage Structure Of Employees Matter?," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 103, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
    4. John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn, 2016. "The hiring and employment of older workers in Germany: a comparative perspective
      [Die Beschäftigung und Neueinstellung älterer Arbeitnehmer in Deutschland: Eine vergleichende Perspektive]
      ," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 49(4), pages 349-366, December.
    5. Arntz, Melanie & Gregory, Terry, 2014. "What old stagers could teach us: Examining age complementarities in regional innovation systems," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-050, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Age Diversity; Company Performance; Productivity in Innovative Industries; Aging Societies;

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