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Why training older employees is less effective

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  • Zwick, Thomas

Abstract

This paper shows that training of older employees is less effective. Training effectiveness is measured with respect to key dimensions such as career development, earnings, adoption of new skills, flexibility or job security. Older employees also pursue less ambitious goals with their training participation. An important reason for these differences during the life cycle might be that firms do not offer the 'right' training forms and contents. Older employees get higher returns from informal and directly relevant training and from training contents that can be mainly tackled by crystallised abilities. Training incidence in the more effective training forms is however not higher for older employees. Given that other decisive variables on effectiveness such as training duration, financing and initiative are not sensitive to age, the wrong allocation of training contents and training forms therefore is critical for the lower effectiveness of training.

Suggested Citation

  • Zwick, Thomas, 2011. "Why training older employees is less effective," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-046, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:11046
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/48642/1/664685110.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    3. Stefan Bender & Michael Fertig & Katja Görlitz & Martina Huber & Alexandra Schmucker, 2009. "WeLL – Unique Linked Employer-Employee Data on Further Training in Germany," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 129(4), pages 637-643.
    4. Philip Taylor & Peter Urwin, 2001. "Age and Participation in Vocational Education and Training," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 15(4), pages 763-779, December.
    5. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:37:i:1:p:53-63 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Anna Cristina D'Addio & Mark Keese & Edward Whitehouse, 2010. "Population ageing and labour markets," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 613-635, Winter.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Why training older employees is less effective
      by kevin denny in Kevin Denny: Economics more-or-less on 2011-08-10 15:46:16

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Braun, Sebastian & Friedl, Andreas & Groll, Dominik & Bachmann, Ronald & Giesecke, Matthias & Kramer, Anica & Paloyo, Alfredo & Sachs, Andreas, 2012. "Demografie und Wachstum: Die gesamtwirtschaftlichen Effekte einer höheren Erwerbstätigkeit Älterer. Gutachten im Auftrag der Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft (INSM) GmbH. Endbericht," RWI Projektberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, number 72614.
    2. repec:rss:jnljms:v6i6p1 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bernhard Boockmann & Tobias Brändle, 2015. "Integrating Older Employees into the Labour Market – Evidence from a German Labour Market Programme," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 13(3), pages 59-64, October.
    4. Marco Caliendo & Jens Hogenacker, 2012. "The German labor market after the Great Recession: successful reforms and future challenges," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-24, December.
    5. repec:ces:ifodic:v:13:y:2015:i:3:p:19172607 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Lang, Julia, 2012. "The aims of lifelong learning: Age-related effects of training on wages and job security," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62073, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Anna Ruzik-Sierdzinska & Claudia Villosio & Michele Belloni & Maciej Lis & Monika Potoczna, 2013. "Age and productivity. Human Capital Accumulation and Depreciation," CASE Network Reports 0114, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Moritz Zöllner & Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2016. "An Evaluation of German Active Labor Market Policies and its Entrepreneurship Promotion," Jena Economic Research Papers 2016-022, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    9. Göbel, Christian & Zwick, Thomas, 2013. "Are personnel measures effective in increasing productivity of old workers?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 80-93.
    10. Felix Hüfner & Caroline Klein, 2012. "The German Labour Market: Preparing for the Future," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 983, OECD Publishing.
    11. Adhikari, Hari P. & Bulmash, Samuel B. & Krolikowski, Marcin W. & Sah, Nilesh B., 2015. "Dynamics of CEO compensation: Old is gold," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 191-206.
    12. Julia Lang, 2012. "The Aims of Lifelong Learning: Age-Related Effects of Training on Wages and Job Security," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 478, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Training; Older Employees; Linked-Employer-Employee Data;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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