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Lutz Schneider (2008)

Ageing and Technological Innovativeness – A Linked Employer-Employee Analysis*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 33, 1/2008, p. 37-54, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398, DOI: 10.1007/s12523-008-0004-z

Growth in advanced economies is essentially driven by innovation activities. The question rises from a demographic point of view as to whether the trend of an ageing workforce will affect the innovation capacities of these economies. To answer this question, the paper examines on the basis of a German linked employer-employee dataset whether an older workforce lowers a firm’s potential to generate product innovations. The empirical approach is based on an Ordered-logit regression model, relating a firm’s innovation potential to the age composition of its employees. The analysis provides evidence of significant age effects. The estimated age-innovation profile follows an inverted U-shaped pattern, it peaks at the age of about 40 years. A separate estimation shows that technicians and engineers age seems to be particularly relevant.

* peer-reviewed article (original German title: Alterung und technologisches Innovationspotential – Eine Linked Employer-Employee Analyse)

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