We investigate whether experience is good or bad for innovation and productivity in a sample of Italian manufacturing firms in the early 2000s. The findings differ depending on whether one looks at managerial or workers' experience. The effect of managerial experience - proxied by age - on firm performance appears to depend on the type of firm: in innovative firms the old age of managers and board members is bad for innovation and productivity, while costs and benefits of managerial old age appear to cancel out for non-innovative firms. As to workers, a high share of temporary – thus inexperienced - workers is instead unambiguouslyy associated to low innovation and productivity.
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