Technological Change and the Careers of Older Workers
Ann P. Bartel
Recent research has shown that technological change has important labor
market implications and in this paper we demostrate one on the avenues
through which this occurs. According to the theory of human capital,
technological charqe 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 channge 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 amounta of training in 35 industrial
sectors with data from the NLS Older Men Survey to test these hypotheses.
Our results strongly support both hypotheses.
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