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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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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. 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.
  2. repec:dgr:kubtil:2010005 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Roger, Muriel & Aubert, Patrick & Caroli, Eve, 2006. "New technologies, organisation and age: firm-level evidence," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10051, Paris Dauphine University.
  4. Leora Friedberg, 2001. "The Impact of Technological Change on Older Workers: Evidence from Data on Computer Use," NBER Working Papers 8297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2001. "The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 8337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
  9. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  10. 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.
  11. Glenn MacDonald & Michael Weisbach, 2001. "The Economics of Has-Beens," NBER Working Papers 8464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Lutz Schneider, 2007. "Alterung und technologisches Innovationspotential : Eine Linked-Employer-Employee-Analyse," IWH Discussion Papers 2, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  13. Gu, Wulong & Gera, Surendra, 2004. "The Effect of Organizational Innovation and Information Technology on Firm Performance," The Canadian Economy in Transition 2004007e, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis.
  14. Elizabeth Webster, 2003. "Firms' Decisions to Innovate and Innovation Routines," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n05, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  15. Jeroen de Jong & Brouwer, 1999. "Determinants of the innovative ability of SMEs," Scales Research Reports B199902, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Weinberg, Bruce A., 2004. "Experience and Technology Adoption," IZA Discussion Papers 1051, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. 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.
  20. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
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  22. 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.
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