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Age and Individual Productivity: A Literature Survey

Vegard Skirbekk

Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 2004, vol. 2, issue 1, 133-154

Abstract: This article surveys supervisors' ratings, analyses of piece-rates and employer-employee datasets as well as other approaches used to estimate how individual productivity varies with age. The causes of productivity variations over the life cycle are addressed with an emphasis on how cognitive abilities affect labour market performance. Earnings tend to increase until relative late in the working life, while most evidence suggests that individuals'job performance tends to increase in the first few years of one's entry into the labour market, before it stabilises and often decreases towards the end of one's career. Productivity reductions at older ages are particularly strong when problem solving, learning and speed are important, while older individuals maintain a relatively high productivity level in work tasks where experience and verbal abilities matter more.

Date: 2004
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