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The Adoption of New Technologies and the Age Structure of the Workforce

  • Meyer, Jenny

This paper provides firm-level evidence for the relationship between the age structure of the workforce and the adoption of new or significantly improved technologies in service sector firms. Furthermore, it closes a research gap by analyzing the joint impact of the age of the workforce and the enhancement of teamwork on the probability of adopting new technologies. The empirical analyses, that are based on a data set of 356 German firms from the knowledge-intensive services and ICT services sector, reveal three findings: Firstly, firms with a higher share of younger employees are more likely to adopt new technologies and the older the workforce is, the less likely is the adoption of new technologies. Secondly, the distribution of the age of the workforce has no significant impact on the probability of adopting new technologies. And thirdly, firms which enhanced their teamwork and have a higher share of younger workers are less likely to adopt new technologies whereas firms that enhanced their teamwork and have a higher share of older employees are more likely to adopt new technologies.

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File URL: https://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/24741/1/dp08045.pdf
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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 08-045.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7355
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  1. Elizabeth Webster, 2004. "Firms' decisions to innovate and innovation routines," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(8), pages 733-745.
  2. 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.
  3. Glenn MacDonald & Michael S. Weisbach, 2004. "The Economics of Has-beens," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S289-S310, February.
  4. Bertschek, Irene & Kaiser, Ulrich, 2001. "Productivity effects of organizational change: microeconometric evidence," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-32, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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  8. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
  9. Petri Rouvinen, 2002. "Characteristics of product and process innovators: some evidence from the Finnish innovation survey," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(9), pages 575-580.
  10. 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.
  11. Patrick Aubert & Eve Caroli & Muriel Roger, 2006. "New technologies, organisation and age: firm level evidence," Post-Print halshs-00754173, HAL.
  12. 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.
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  14. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Cindy Zoghi & Robert D. Mohr & Peter B. Meyer, 2010. "Workplace organization and innovation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(2), pages 622-639, May.
  16. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Weinberg, Bruce A., 2004. "Experience and Technology Adoption," IZA Discussion Papers 1051, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Katrin Schleife, 2006. "Computer Use and Employment Status of Older Workers - An Analysis Based on Individual Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(2), pages 325-348, 06.
  19. 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, 05.
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  21. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
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