The transformative power of technology to turn the silver economy into a gold society: a systematic literature review


  • Angela Caridà
  • Nicola Varrone
  • Ambra Altimari
  • Monia Melia



silver economy; bibliometric analysis; older people; technology; technological solutions, social innovation, service ecosystem innova


Purpose of the paper: To analyze the intellectual and cognitive structures of silver economy research in the business and management literature, systematize current studies on technological innovations in the field, and propose future research directions to advance the debate on the role and impacts of technologies, better address the challenges and maximize the opportunities of an aging population.

Methodology: A systematic literature review and science map analysis were conducted by applying bibliometric techniques to represent the current status of the research field.

Findings: The results revealed three main research periods: the formation phase (1985-2007), the transition phase (2008-2014), and the early development phase (2015-2022), where the focus of scholars’ interest shifts from welfare expenditures (1985-2007) to health policy, services (2008-2014), and technological change (2015-2022). The study reveals fragmented literature on the relationship between the silver economy and technology, which points out the lack of a holistic perspective of technological innovation for older people.

Research limitations: The study has some limitations typical of most studies of a similar nature, such as the possible exclusion of research papers in the gray literature or the subjectivity bias of the researcher. These limitations were mitigated by the coordinated efforts of four researchers who, after working independently on each phase of the study, reached common agreements through discussion and improved the rigor and objectivity of the results.

Practical implications: The paper provides relevant implications to a wide range of service ecosystem stakeholders, including business managers and policy makers, regarding the social challenges and business opportunities associated with the links between technological innovation and the silver economy.

Originality of the paper: This paper presents a comprehensive systematic literature review of the silver economy in the business and management literature, with a particular focus on technological innovation.


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