The authors investigate whether the level of employee experience is good or bad for innovation and productivity. Using a sample of Italian manufacturing firms during the early 2000s, the authors find different results for managers’ versus workers’ experience. The effect of managerial experience—proxied by age—on firm performance appears to depend on the type of firm; in innovative firms, having older managers and board members has a negative effect on innovation and productivity, while in non-innovative firms, the costs and benefits of having older managers appear to cancel each other out. For workers, the effect of having a high share of inexperienced (temporary) workers is unambiguously associated with low innovation and low productivity. These results also hold when endogenous regime switching is taken into consideration.
- labor market