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Faces of Joblessness in Italy: A People-Centred Perspective on Employment Barriers and Policies

Author

Listed:
  • Pacifico, Daniele

    (OECD)

  • Browne, James

    (OECD)

  • Fernandez, Rodrigo

    (OECD)

  • Immervoll, Herwig

    (OECD)

  • Neumann, Dirk

    (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie)

  • Thévenot, Céline

    (OECD)

Abstract

In the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis, large shares of working-age individuals in Italy either did not work or only to a limited extent. As the employment rate bottomed out in 2013, 32% were without employment during the entire year, and a further 7% had weak labour-market attachment, working only a fraction of the year, or on restricted working hours. This paper applies a novel method for measuring and visualising employment barriers of individuals with no or weak labour-market attachment, using household micro-data. It first develops indicators to quantify employment obstacles under three broad headings: (i) work-related capabilities, (ii) incentives, and (iii) employment opportunities. It then uses these indicators in conjunction with a statistical clustering approach to identify unobserved ("latent") groups of individuals facing similar combinations of barriers. The resulting typology of labour-market difficulties provides insights on the most pressing policy priorities in supporting different groups into employment. A detailed policy discussion illustrates the use of these empirical results to inform people-centred assessments of existing labour-market integration measures and of key challenges across different policy areas and institutions. The most common employment obstacles in Italy were limited work experience, low education and skill levels, and scarce job opportunities. Although financial disincentives, health limitations and care responsibilities were less widespread overall, they remained important barriers for some groups. A striking finding is that more than half of jobless or low-intensity workers face three or more simultaneous barriers, highlighting the limits of narrow policy approaches that focus on subsets of these employment obstacles in isolation.

Suggested Citation

  • Pacifico, Daniele & Browne, James & Fernandez, Rodrigo & Immervoll, Herwig & Neumann, Dirk & Thévenot, Céline, 2018. "Faces of Joblessness in Italy: A People-Centred Perspective on Employment Barriers and Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 11768, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11768
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Card & Jochen Kluve & Andrea Weber, 2018. "What Works? A Meta Analysis of Recent Active Labor Market Program Evaluations," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 894-931.
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    6. Müge Adalet McGowan & Dan Andrews, 2015. "Skill Mismatch and Public Policy in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1210, OECD Publishing.
    7. Del Boca, Daniela & Locatelli, Marilena & Vuri, Daniela, 2004. "Child Care Choices by Italian Households," IZA Discussion Papers 983, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Rodrigo Fernandez & Herwig Immervoll & Daniele Pacifico & Céline Thévenot, 2016. "Faces of Joblessness: Characterising Employment Barriers to Inform Policy," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 192, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Albanese, Andrea & Gallo, Giovanni, 2020. "Buy flexible, pay more: The role of temporary contracts on wage inequality," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    employment barriers; profiling; activation; policy coordination;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C38 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Classification Methdos; Cluster Analysis; Principal Components; Factor Analysis
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J8 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards

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