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Le cause del (l’in-)successo lavorativo dei giovani

Caroleo, Floro Ernesto and Pastore, Francesco (2009): Le cause del (l’in-)successo lavorativo dei giovani.


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This paper suggests that the insufficient work experience of young people as compared to adults is the major cause of the hardship the former experience in the labour market both in terms of employment and wages. Economists are bewildered as to the determinants of and as to the ways to cure the youth experience gap. Most of them believe that the market should solve youth hardship by offering them: a) a lower than average entry wage able to mirror their lower productivity level; b) increasing labour market flexibility so as to allow them to move more easily from one job the next until they have found the best one for them; c) and, in particular, temporary work, considered as the only way to allow them to acquire the work experience they actually need. Other observers, instead, criticize entry flexibility and temporary work. The former works only if accompanied by additional instruments, otherwise it favours only those people who already have a greater level of motivation and skill. Temporary work allows accumulating only generic, not job specific work experience. The solution is a policy mix whereas labour market flexibility is accompanied by a more efficient and even education and training system and on the duality principle. This is shown in the second part of the paper by building a classification of EU regimes by type of school-to-work transition institutions.

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