First Working Papers are published

Anonymous cyklist in the street.

Amongst the general population in Europe youth is facing the highest job insecurity levels in comparison to other groups. Nearly one in four of young people in the EU is jobless, and in some countries the youth unemployment affects nearly half of the youth population. Good education level is not anymore a guarantee of having a job.

Since the outbreak of the economic and financial crisis, one can observe an increase in difficulties that youth is facing in the labour market: longer transition from education to work, longer jobless periods, higher likelihood of being offer only temporary or “zero hour” contracts, or job below the qualifications. This has a long- and short-term costs that affect live of an individual and society as such.

NEGOTIATE project is examining the long- and short-term consequences of job insecurity and labour market exclusion of young people. By actively involving national and European stakeholders, as well as young people themselves, the project will contribute to evidence-based and effective policies preventing the adverse effects of early job insecurity and youth unemployment. Involved researchers examine the relationship between young people’s subjective and objective negotiating positions across economic and social dimensions affecting labour market integration and social inclusion.

The project is informed by the concepts resilience, capability, active agency and negotiation. These are combined with methodological innovation (life course interviews and vignette experiments) and cross-cutting policy analyses. In sum this will help improve our understanding of existing variations in the consequences of early job insecurity and labour market exclusion within and across countries and across social groups.

The project consortium has recently publish the first set of four academic working papers that were developed in the framework of the NEGOTIATE research project:

“Understanding the consequences of early job insecurity and labour market exclusion: The interactions of structural conditions, institutions, active agency and capability” (pdf)  by Irene Dingeldey, Bjørn Hvinden, Christer Hyggen, Jacqueline O’Reilly and Mi Ah Schøyen, in collaboration with other Consortium Members

This first working paper is providing an analytical framework for the research that integrates the concepts such as negotiation, agency, capability, empowerment, social resilience, embedded employability, networks, transition regimes, welfare state regimes and multi-level governance. The aim of the NEGOTIATE research work is to investigate young people’s agency in relation to job insecurity and how public policies influence it. Therefore the project will provide new knowledge and better understanding of the factors and mechanisms behind the different success of young European in making the transition of employment.

The second goal is to identify what promotes social resilience. This means identifying changes in EU and national policies, provisions and modes of governance that have the potential of enabling more young adults across Europe to make this transition, of preventing the negative effects of early job insecurity and prolonged unemployment and marginalization and more generally, of strengthening the capability and resilience of young adults.

“Indicators and data sources to measure patterns of labour market entry across countries”  (pdf) by Maria Karamessini, Antonis Papazachariou, Dimitris Parsanoglou, Glykeria Stamatopoulou from UPSPS

The second working paper focuses on providing the definitions of job insecurity, analyses the existing data sources, methodologies and indicators used in the empirical studies. On this basis the NEGOTIATE project will produce an overview of the general context in which young people in each country and across Europe form their work expectations and negotiate their labour market integration and transition from youth to adulthood, based on a macro-level comparative analysis of early job insecurity in Europe.

“Permanent and transitory earnings: inequality of young people in Europe” (pdf) by Sara Ayllón Gatnau (UDG), Xavier Ramos (UDG) in collaboration with other Consortium Members

This paper provides new evidence on economic instability, as measured by earnings and labour market volatility, across Europe over the period of the Great Recession for the population group hardest hit by the severe economic downturn: youth. The document apart from providing an analysis of the 28 European countries, and covers both the period before and after the major economic turmoil since the Great Depression. It measures volatility in two manners: Earnings volatility, based on year-to-year earnings changes, and labour maket volatility, which also considers transitions into and out of employment.

This way the paper presents not only the conditions received while working (earnings) but also the likelihood that young people enter or leave employment.

The findings suggest that in terms of policy design that a one-size policy does not fit all: volatility should be reduced in the Nordic countries by negotiating better conditions for youth while working, while in the South, all the focus should be placed on helping youth to having long employment spells and lower turnover. According to the results, in Sweden or Denmark, for example, more than 90% of youth in our sample is consecutively employed while the same figure is below 50% in Greece after the bust of the Great Recession.

Good job matches, leading to long and stable labour relationships are key to reducing volatility. However, accomplishing good job matches is complex in so far as it is unlikely to be fully achieved by demand or supply side policies alone. For instance, education policies alone are likely not to bear a large influence on volatility, as observed volatility does not change across education levels.

 “Studying employers’ risk assessment and the role of institutions: An experimental design” (pdf)  by Lulu P. Shi, Christian Imdorf, Robin Samuel of UNIBAS

The working paper shades a light into the methodological approach of the Work Package 7 that aims at understanding how early job insecurity can affect an individual’s future career from an employer’s perspective. Moreover it summarizes the major theoretical concepts that have been used to explain the scarring effects that can result from employer behaviour.

By paying special attention to the educational background and gender of the applicants, the WP team in the course of the next months,  plans to investigate how employers interpret young applicants’ job insecurity, for example in the form of unemployment or job-mismatch experiences, during recruitment. The negative effects of such experiences on an individual’s chances of being recruited successfully – so called scarring effects – may further vary depending on economic and institutional contexts such as country-specific economic or political conditions, educational structures or economic sectors.

By surveying employers from different sectors, they will examine if and how these scarring effects vary between four different countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Norway and Switzerland. By applying an innovative methodology in the form of an employer-sided survey with an integrated multidimensional vignette experiment in order to simulate the impact of multiple factors on success and failure when young people who experienced job insecurities apply for new jobs.