Technological Change and the Careers of Older Workers

32 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2007 Last revised: 21 May 2008

See all articles by Ann P. Bartel

Ann P. Bartel

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Nachum Sicherman

Columbia University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: September 1990

Abstract

Recent research has shown that technological change has important labor market implications and in this paper we demonstrate one on the avenues through which this occurs. According to the theory of human capital, technological chanqe will influence the retirement decisions of older workers in two ways. First, workers in industries that are characterized by high rates of technological chanqe will have later retirement ages because these industries require larger amounts of on-the-job training. Second, an unexpected change in the industry's rate of technological change will induce older workers to retire sooner because the required amount of retraining will be an unattractive investment. We matched time-series data on rates of technological change and required amounts of training in 35 industrial sectors with data from the NLS Older Men Survey to test these hypotheses. Our results strongly support both hypotheses.

Suggested Citation

Bartel, Ann P. and Sicherman, Nachum, Technological Change and the Careers of Older Workers (September 1990). NBER Working Paper No. w3433. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=467648

Ann P. Bartel (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Nachum Sicherman

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-4464 (Phone)
212-316-9355 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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