De Economist

, Volume 157, Issue 4, pp 441–460 | Cite as

Will You Still Need Me: When I’m 64?

  • Jan C. Van OursEmail author
Open Access


For various reasons the relationship between age and productivity is a matter of policy concern. I present new empirical research showing how productivity is affected by age. I study age effects at the individual level by analyzing data on running and publishing in economic journals. Furthermore I present empirical evidence at the firm level on the relationship between age, wage and productivity. In particular I address the potential wage-productivity gap that might occur at higher ages. I conclude that the productivity of older workers indeed decreases with their age. Nevertheless, the decline is limited. Furthermore, I find no evidence of a pay-productivity gap at higher ages.


age productivity matched worker-firm data 

JEL Code(s)

J14 J24 J31 



Excellent research assistance of Willemijn van den Berg and Lenny Stoeldraijer is gratefully acknowledged. The analysis of the age-wage-productivity relationship using matched worker-firm data is part of research sponsored by the Netherlands Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. I thank the Ministry for their generous financial support. The matched worker-firm data were made available through a remote access facility by Statistics Netherlands. I thank Paul van Seters for making his personal running data available for analysis. I also thank participants of the ESPE conference, workshops at University of Melbourne and Deakin University and Guyonne Kalb, Peter Kooreman and Daniel van Vuuren for their comments.

Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2010

Open AccessThis is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License (, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, CentERTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.CEPRLondonUK

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