Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/24131
Authors: 
Spitz, Alexandra
Year of Publication: 
2005
Series/Report no.: 
ZEW Discussion Papers 05-40
Abstract: 
Two main hypotheses can be found in literature on why elderly workers have a lower probability of using information technology than their younger peers: lower learning capabilities and reduced incentives to invest in human capital. I use law changes in the unemployment compensation system enacted in Germany during the 1980s and 1990s to demonstrate that ?incentives? are more important than ?capabilities? in determining variation in IT usage. Elderly workers only fell behind the IT usage rates of their younger peers during the 1980s and 1990s, when unemployment benefits got increasingly generous, thereby reducing their incentives to invest in human capital.
Subjects: 
differences-in-differences
computer adoption by older workers
changes in unemployment compensation system
JEL: 
J24
J14
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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