Age and productivity capacity: Descriptions, causes and policy options

Skirbekk, V. (2008). Age and productivity capacity: Descriptions, causes and policy options. Over.Werk 33-46.

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This article reviews research on how work performance differs over the life cycle. This includes managers' evaluations, the quantity and quality of goods and services produced by workers of different ages, the performance of age-mixed teams and how the employee age distribution changes due to technological change and business cycle shocks, analyses of employer-employee datasets, descriptions of age-earnings profiles in settings where they could reflect performance and the output of researchers and artists over the life cycle. The causes of productivity variation by age are also considered, with a particular focus on experience and cognitive abilities. The evidence suggests that productivity tends to increase during the initial years in the labour market before it stabilizes and often declines towards the end of the working life. Productivity reductions at older ages are strongest in job tasks where problem solving, learning and speed are important, while for work tasks where experience and verbal abilities matter more, there is less or no reduction in productivity among elderly workers. Trends in the age-productivity pattern are discussed in relation to changes in work tasks and job requirements, leading to new skill requirements (decline in demand for physical strength, increase in the need to learn new skills).

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Bibliographic Reference: Over.Werk; 1/2008:33-46 (2008)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:41
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:20

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