Demographic Change and Labour Markets: Why are Older Employees less Mobile?
Since older workers are less disposed to change jobs workforce ageing will affect labour mobility in Germany. On the basis of the IAB-Employment Sample (IABS) the contribution analyzes the effect of age on job and occupational mobility. The study focuses on the question whether older workers are less mobile due to the optimal matching quality of their current job which cannot be improved by job switches or whether other factors have to be considered for explaining the age related mobility decline. Econometric results firstly confirm the significance of expected wage growth for mobility decision across all age groups. Secondly, older workers seem to benefit from wage increase due to a job change less frequently than younger workers. However, this factor explains only a part of the mobility lag. Even after controlling for the wage effect younger workers change jobs more often than older ones. For this reason the opinion that ageing will impede the labour market adjustments cannot be disabled. If older workers only slightly react on wage signals and do not respond to attractive offers growing firms might face problems to recruit appropriate staff – a trend which could have negative consequences for technological and sectoral changes of the entire economy.