What Old Stagers Could Teach Us – Examining Age Complementarities in Regional Innovation Systems

39 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2014

See all articles by Melanie Arntz

Melanie Arntz

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Terry Gregory

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Date Written: July 1, 2014

Abstract

Concerns have been raised that demographic ageing may weaken the competitiveness of knowledge-based economies and increase regional disparities. The age-creativity link is however far from clear at the aggregate level. Contributing to this debate, we estimate the causal effect of the workforce age structure on patenting activities for local labour markets in Germany using a flexible knowledge production function and accounting for potential endogeneity of the regional workforce structure. Overall, our results suggest that younger workers boost regional innovations, but this effect partly hinges on the presence of older workers as younger and older workers turn out to be complements in the production of knowledge. With demographic aging mainly increasing the older workforce and shrinking the younger one, our results imply that innovation levels in ageing societies may drop in the future. Moreover, differences in the regional age structure currently explain around a sixth of the innovation gap across German regions.

Keywords: regional innovation system, demographic ageing, knowledge production function, regional disparities, age complementarities

JEL Classification: R12, R23, J11

Suggested Citation

Arntz, Melanie and Gregory, Terry, What Old Stagers Could Teach Us – Examining Age Complementarities in Regional Innovation Systems (July 1, 2014). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 14-050. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2475947 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2475947

Melanie Arntz (Contact Author)

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1 D-68161 Mannheim
Germany

Terry Gregory

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
Mannheim, 68161
Germany
+49 (0)621 1235-306 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.zew.de/en/mitarbeiter/mitarbeiter.php3?action=mita&kurz=TGR

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