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Older Workers and the Adoption of New Technologies

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  • Meyer, Jenny

Abstract

For the first time data of German ICT and knowledge intensive service providers are used to analyze the relation between the age structure of the workforce and the probability of adopting new technologies. The results show that firms with a higher share of younger employees are more likely to adopt new technologies and the older the workforce the less likely is the adoption of new technologies. Furthermore the results exhibit that the age structure of the workforce should be accompanied by appropriate workplace organization. A part of the firms which enhanced teamwork or flattened their hierarchies are actually more likely to adopt new technologies and software when they have a higher share of older employees whereas they are less likely to introduce new technologies if they have a higher share of younger employees.

Suggested Citation

  • Meyer, Jenny, 2007. "Older Workers and the Adoption of New Technologies," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-050, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:6353
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    2. Cindy Zoghi & Robert D. Mohr & Peter B. Meyer, 2010. "Workplace organization and innovation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, pages 622-639.
    3. Patrick Aubert & Eve Caroli & Muriel Roger, 2006. "New technologies, organisation and age: firm-level evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(509), pages 73-93, February.
    4. Edward C. Norton & Hua Wang & Chunrong Ai, 2004. "Computing interaction effects and standard errors in logit and probit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 154-167, June.
    5. Schneider, Lutz, 2007. "Alterung und technologisches Innovationspotential : Eine Linked-Employer-Employee-Analyse," IWH Discussion Papers 2/2007, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    6. Elisabeth Mueller & Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Managerial Ownership and Company Performance in German Small and Medium-Sized Private Enterprises," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7, pages 233-247, May.
    7. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
    8. Leora Friedberg, 2003. "The Impact of Technological Change on Older Workers: Evidence from Data on Computer Use," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 511-529, April.
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    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jisung Park & Seongsu Kim, 2015. "The differentiating effects of workforce aging on exploitative and exploratory innovation: The moderating role of workforce diversity," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, pages 481-503.
    2. Karsten Wasiluk, 2014. "Technology Adoption and Demographic Change," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2014-05, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    3. Katharina Frosch, 2009. "Do only new brooms sweep clean? A review on workforce age and innovation," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-005, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    age structure of the workforce; adoption of new technologies; ICT intensive services;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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