The Youth Experience Gap: Explaining Differences across EU Countries
This note aims to provide a theoretical framework to think of the youthunemployment problem and a classification of EU countries according to the way they address it.The key factor to explain youth unemployment is what we call the youth experience gap. To helpyoung people fill it in and ease school-to-work transitions, every EU country provides a mix ofpolicy instruments, including different degrees and types of labour market flexibility, of educationaland training systems, of passive income support schemes and fiscal incentives. Five differentcountry groups are detected whose outcomes in terms of youth unemployment are dramaticallydifferent: a) the North-European; b) the Continental European; c) the Anglo-Saxon; d) the South-European; e) New Member States. The Lisbon strategy provides guidelines in line with thetheoretical framework discussed here, but it is costly and hard to implement.
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