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Improving the Economic Situation of Young People in France


  • Hervé Boulhol



The economic situation of young people is unsatisfactory. Educational inequalities have been widening for over a decade, due to a sharp decline in the results of the most highly disadvantaged students. The unemployment rate for the 20-24 age bracket has not dropped below 16% for nearly 30 years. French youth are highly pessimistic about the future and express great distrust of institutions. The social safety net sits uneasily between autonomy and family solidarity and is unfair because young people who are unemployed and have no solid financial backing from their families find themselves in precarious situations. Positive discrimination in education policies should be given a real priority and education spending rationalised to draw more resources to primary schooling. The autonomy of universities should be increased, as should the financial independence of young people. The workings of the labour market, some features of which penalise new entrants, need to be reformed and youth employment services enhanced. This Working Paper relates to the 2013 OECD Economic Review of France (

Suggested Citation

  • Hervé Boulhol, 2013. "Improving the Economic Situation of Young People in France," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1041, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1041-en

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    education; employment; France; labour market; primary education; school failure; school-to-work transition; tertiary education; unemployment; youth;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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