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Out of school and out of work: a diagnostic of ninis in Latin America


  • De Hoyos Navarro,Rafael E.
  • Popova,Anna
  • Rogers,F. Halsey


Using all the household survey data available in Latin America during the period 1992 to 2013, this paper estimates that in 2015, 20 million youth ages 15 to 24 years in the region were out of school and not working (making them ninis, for"ni estudian ni trabajan"). The share of out-of?school, out-of-work youth in Latin America, at about 19 percent, is roughly equal to the global average of 22 percent. Although women make up over two-thirds of the ninis in the region, the number of male ninis grew by 46 percent between 1992 and 2010. As a result, the absolute number of ninis rose over the two-decade period, even as women's education and employment rates were improving. Global comparisons show that Latin America is the region of the world with the largest concentration of ninis among households in the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution. Coupled with the long-lasting harm it causes to the youth's future labor-market outcomes, the high incidence of ninis among the poorest households tends to lock in income disparities from one generation to the next, obstructing social mobility and poverty reduction in the region.

Suggested Citation

  • De Hoyos Navarro,Rafael E. & Popova,Anna & Rogers,F. Halsey, 2016. "Out of school and out of work: a diagnostic of ninis in Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7548, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7548

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mauricio Cardenas & Rafael De Hoyos & Miguel Szekely, 2015. "Out-of-School and Out-of-Work Youth in Latin America: A Persistent Problem in a Decade of Prosperity," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2015), pages 1-40, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chia Liu & Andrés F. Castro Torres & Ewa Batyra, 2022. "A gender story of social disengagement in Latin America," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2022-004, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Ham Andrés & Maldonado Darío & Guzmán-Gutiérrez Carlos Santiago, 2021. "Recent trends in the youth labor market in Colombia: Diagnosis and policy challenges," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 11(1), pages 1-62, January.
    3. Dustan, Andrew, 2020. "Can large, untargeted conditional cash transfers increase urban high school graduation rates? Evidence from Mexico City's Prepa Sí," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    4. Andrés Ham & Darío Maldonado & Carlos Santiago Guzmán-Gutiérrez, 2019. "Tendencias recientes en la situación laboral de los jóvenes en Colombia: diagnóstico, desafíos y retos de política pública," Documentos de trabajo 17569, Escuela de Gobierno - Universidad de los Andes.
    5. Luis René Cáceres, 2021. "Youth Unemployment and Underdevelopment in Honduras," International Journal of Economics and Finance, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 13(2), pages 1-61, February.
    6. Nicole Denier & Claudia Masferrer, 2020. "Returning to a New Mexican Labor Market? Regional Variation in the Economic Incorporation of Return Migrants from the U.S. to Mexico," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 39(4), pages 617-641, August.
    7. Chen, Shuang, 2018. "Education and transition to work: Evidence from Vietnam, Cambodia and Nepal," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 92-105.

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    Economics of Education; Educational Populations; Education for Development (superceded); Education For All;
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