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Productivity and age: Evidence from work teams at the assembly line

  • Weiss, Matthias
  • Börsch-Supan, Axel

We study the relation between workers’ age and their productivity in work teams, based on a new and unique data set that combines data on errors occurring in the production process of a large car manufacturer with detailed information on the personal characteristics of workers re-lated to the errors. We correct for non-random sample selection and the potential endogeneity of the age-composition in work teams. Our results suggest that productivity does not decline at least up to age 60.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis with number 48719.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc11:48719
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  1. Fabrizio Castellucci & Mario Padula & Giovanni Pica, 2009. "The age-productivity gradient: evidence from a sample of F1 drivers," Working Papers 2009_16, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  2. Christian Grund & Niels Westergaard-Nielsen, 2008. "Age structure of the workforce and firm performance," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 29(5), pages 410-422, September.
  3. Pekka Ilmakunnas & Mika Maliranta, 2005. "Technology, Labour Characteristics and Wage-productivity Gaps," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(5), pages 623-645, October.
  4. Benoit Dostie, 2011. "Wages, Productivity and Aging," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(2), pages 139-158, June.
  5. Frank, Robert H. & Hutchens, Robert M., 1993. "Wages, seniority, and the demand for rising consumption profiles," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 251-276, August.
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  7. David W. Galenson & Bruce A. Weinberg, 1999. "Age and the Quality of Work: The Case of Modern American Painters," NBER Working Papers 7122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Göbel, Christian & Zwick, Thomas, 2009. "Age and productivity: evidence from linked employer employee data," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-020, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  10. 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.
  11. James L. Medoff & Katharine G. Abraham, 1980. "Experience, Performance, and Earnings," NBER Working Papers 0278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Thierry Lallemand & François Rycx, 2009. "Are Young and Old WorkersS Harmful for Firm Productivity ?," Working Papers CEB 09-002.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. John Laitner & Dmitriy Stolyarov, 2005. "Technological Progress and Worker Productivity at Different Ages," Working Papers wp107, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  14. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  15. 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.
  16. 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, 01.
  17. Ilmakunnas, Pekka & Maliranta, Mika, 2007. "Aging, Labor Turnover and Firm Performance," Discussion Papers 1092, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  18. David A. Wise, 1989. "The Economics of Aging," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number wise89-1, July.
  19. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Düzgün, Ismail & Weiss, Matthias, 2005. "Altern und Produktivität: Zum Stand der Forschung," MEA discussion paper series 05073, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  20. David Galenson, 2005. "The Greatest Artists of the Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 11899, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Loewenstein, George F & Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. "Do Workers Prefer Increasing Wage Profiles?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 67-84, January.
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