IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Il difficile passaggio verso il lavoro dei giovani che lasciano la scuola: quali possibili politiche?
[The hard access to the labour market of youth leaving school: what policy choices?]


  • Caroleo, Floro Ernesto


Youth leaving school and searching for a job suffer of work experience gap. This is very similar to the skill mismatch that occurs after a shock of demand or supply of competencies: to adequate the supply of competences to the new needs, it is necessary to modify the education and training system which takes time and money. Young people face a similar problem during their school to work transition. In fact, despite ever increasing educational attainment, they lack the other two components of human capital: generic and job-specific work experience. In order to fill this experience gap, they carry out a searching strategy by which they move among different labour market statuses in search for the best job-worker match. However, the process of transition is a complex phenomenon with strong elements of rigidity, concerning the institutions (school, training and university systems and labour agencies) and the norms and contracts regulating the labour market, uncertainty and errors of judgment. Accordingly, the search strategy takes time and is costly. Lower quality Institutions and not flexible labour markets augment the risk that youth make a mistake in their searching investment, or send wrong signals to the firms, and consequently fall permanently into a chain of high and long term unemployment, low pay, temporary or part-time work or inactivity. A comparative analysis shows that the youth condition is not the same all over the OECD countries. To help young people smooth school-to-work transitions, every country has provided a mix of policy instruments reaching different outcomes. We can sum up these instruments into two groups: policies that, considering the need of firms to minimize the labour costs, aim at introducing different degrees and types of labour market flexibility, and policies that, considering the need of new entrants to adequate their human capital , adopt programs of training and labour market active policies or reforms of their education and training system. Broadly speaking, countries with flexible labour market and relatively less expenditures in training and active policies get both low and very high levels of youth unemployment. Nevertheless, Centre-North European countries get a relatively low unemployment rate with more welfare guarantees to youth and high expenditure in training and active policies. However, there is a general consensus both in criticizing the second type of policies, since these are too expensive for the public finances, and in preferring the liberalization of the labour market. This paper is meant to analyze the case of the young graduates and the probability to be overqualified or underskilled. It gives evidence that policies to cut down the labour costs and salaries are of little scope merely aiming at an immediate saving, on the other hand, they are damaging in the long term. Conversely, investments in human capital are very important to augment the productivity growth and reduce regional differences. University and school of low quality as well as lack of instruments aiming at strengthening the link between the education system and the work experience, make permanent the qualification and skill mismatch and hinder wages from restoring the equilibrium of the labour market. In the long term, the wage gap for overqualified and underskilled has consequences on productivity growth. Considerations are made also for the Mezzogiorno case.

Suggested Citation

  • Caroleo, Floro Ernesto, 2012. "Il difficile passaggio verso il lavoro dei giovani che lasciano la scuola: quali possibili politiche?
    [The hard access to the labour market of youth leaving school: what policy choices?]
    ," MPRA Paper 37645, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37645

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Massimiliano Bratti & Daniele Checchi & Guido de Blasio, 2008. "Does the Expansion of Higher Education Increase the Equality of Educational Opportunities? Evidence from Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(s1), pages 53-88, June.
    2. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2010. "Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: The Relationship to Youth Employment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub08-1, January.
    3. Antonio Ciccone & Federico Cingano & Piero Cipollone, 2004. "The Private and Social Return to Schooling in Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 63(3-4), pages 413-444, December.
    4. Giorgio Brunello & Daniele Checchi, 2007. "Does school tracking affect equality of opportunity? New international evidence," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 781-861, October.
    5. Floro Ernesto Caroleo & Francesco Pastore, 2012. "Talking about the Pigou paradox: Socio-educational background and educational outcomes of AlmaLaurea," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(1), pages 27-50, March.
    6. Giuseppe Croce & Emanuela Ghignoni, 2011. "Overeducation and spatial flexibility in Italian local labour markets," Working Papers 145, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
    7. Agar Brugiavini & Franco Peracchi, 2010. "Youth Unemployment and Retirement of the Elderly: The Case of Italy," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: The Relationship to Youth Employment, pages 167-215 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Floro Ernesto Caroleo & Francesco Pastore, 2009. "Le cause del(l') (in)successo lavorativo dei giovani," Economia & lavoro, Carocci editore, issue 3, pages 107-107.
    9. repec:ilo:emwpap:2008-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Francesco Pastore, 2009. "School-to-Work Transitions in Mongolia," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 6(2), pages 245-264, December.
    11. Patrizia Ordine & Giuseppe Rose, 2009. "Overeducation and Instructional Quality: A Theoretical Model and Some Facts," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 73-105.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Youth Unemployment; School to Work Transition; Qualification and Skill Mismatch;

    JEL classification:

    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37645. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.