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Youth Unemployment in Old Europe: The Polar Cases of France and Germany

  • Cahuc, Pierre


    (Ecole Polytechnique, Paris)

  • Carcillo, Stéphane



  • Rinne, Ulf



  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.


    (IZA and University of Bonn)

France and Germany are two polar cases in the European debate about rising youth unemployment. Similar to what can be observed in Southern European countries, a "lost generation" may arise in France. In stark contrast, youth unemployment has been on continuous decline in Germany for many years, hardly affected by the Great Recession. This paper analyzes the diametrically opposed developments in the two countries to derive policy lessons. As the fundamental differences in youth unemployment are primarily resulting from structural differences in labor policy and in the (vocational) education system, any short-term oriented policies can only have temporary effects. Ultimately, the youth unemployment disease in France and in other European countries has to be cured with structural reforms.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7490.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7490
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  1. Caliendo, Marco & Künn, Steffen & Schmidl, Ricarda, 2011. "Fighting Youth Unemployment: The Effects of Active Labor Market Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 6222, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Bargain, Olivier & Doorley, Karina, 2013. "Putting Structure on the RD Design: Social Transfers and Youth Inactivity in France," IZA Discussion Papers 7508, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Eichhorst, Werner & Hinte, Holger & Rinne, Ulf, 2013. "Youth Unemployment in Europe: What to Do about It?," IZA Policy Papers 65, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Lerman, Robert I., 2012. "Can the United States Expand Apprenticeship? Lessons from Experience," IZA Policy Papers 46, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Rinne, Ulf & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Another Economic Miracle? The German Labor Market and the Great Recession," IZA Discussion Papers 6250, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Schmillen, Achim & Umkehrer, Matthias, 2013. "The scars of youth : effects of early-career unemployment on future unemployment experience," IAB Discussion Paper 201306, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  7. Kramarz, Francis & Philippon, Thomas, 2001. "The impact of differential payroll tax subsidies on minimum wage employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 115-146, October.
  8. Damon Clark & Rene Fahr, 2002. "The promise of workplace training for non-college bound youth: theory and evidence from German apprenticeship," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20092, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Rainer Winkelmann, 1997. "How young workers get their training: A survey of Germany versus the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 159-170.
  10. Eichhorst, Werner & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Schmidl, Ricarda & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "A Roadmap to Vocational Education and Training Systems Around the World," IZA Discussion Papers 7110, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. David Card & Jochen Kluve & Andrea Weber, 2010. "Active Labor Market Policy Evaluations: A Meta-Analysis," NBER Working Papers 16173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Alet, Elodie & Bonnal, Liliane, 2011. "Vocational schooling and educational success: comparing apprenticeship to full-time vocational high-school," TSE Working Papers 27239, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  13. Gurgand, Marc & Margolis, David N., 2008. "Does work pay in France? Monetary incentives, hours constraints, and the guaranteed minimum income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1669-1697, July.
  14. Pierre Cahuc & Stéphane Carcillo & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2013. "The Employment of the Low-Skilled Youth in France," Sciences Po publications 64, Sciences Po.
  15. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027, June.
  16. Konstantinos Tatsiramos, 2009. "Geographic labour mobility and unemployment insurance in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 267-283, April.
  17. Biavaschi, Costanza & Eichhorst, Werner & Giulietti, Corrado & Kendzia, Michael J. & Muravyev, Alexander & Pieters, Janneke & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Schmidl, Ricarda & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "Youth Unemployment and Vocational Training," IZA Discussion Papers 6890, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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