Munich Personal RePEc Archive

New technology and old institutions: An empirical analysis of the skill-biased demand for older workers in Europe

Peng, Fei and Anwar, Sajid and Kang, Lili (2015): New technology and old institutions: An empirical analysis of the skill-biased demand for older workers in Europe.

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Abstract

Using panel data from nine European countries over the period 1970 to 2007, we examine the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on the demand for older workers (aged 50 and over). We find evidence of a decrease in demand for older workers in the 1970s and 1980s. It can be argued that the impact of ICT on demand for older workers is skill-biased. However, the skill-biased demand for older workers is mainly reflected in the skill-biased changes in employment shares rather than relative wages. There is some evidence of a gradual deskilling of older workers. We find that labour market institutions such as the national minimum wage, social pacts on wage issues and union density mostly benefit skilled older workers, while coordination of wage setting, extension of collective agreements, social pacts on pensions and centralisation of wage bargaining can alleviate the adverse effects of skill-biased technological change.

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