WP5 Negotiating transition


Exam the short- to medium-term implications of early job insecurity for young people’s lives. To investigate how young people negotiate the transition to adulthood in the context of economic crisis. To ask how experiences of job insecurity affect young people’s lives with regard to educational decisions, leaving home, parenthood. Its objectives are to:

  • Exploit the different degree of severity of the current economic crisis across European regions and countries in order to analyse the effects of business cycle variations on incentives to continue studying for young people in Europe.
  • Investigate how the economic crisis and the increased youth unemployment rate in Europe have changed residential emancipation patterns, while taking into account that results are likely to differ not only with gender but with the institutional settings, the generosity of welfare state provision and cultural values and norms.
  • Compare how young people in countries with different institutional contexts and youth employment rates assess their possibilities to emancipate themselves economically and spatially from their parents and to make decisions about parenthood.
  • Identify, against the backdrop of the still pervasive economic crisis, the drivers shaping present patterns of transition from youth to adulthood across European countries and regions in order to improve our understanding of how young people negotiate their professional career and private sphere when faced with difficult labour market conditions.

Description of work

Task 5.1 Economic crisis and the motivation to work

Investigate the extent to which young people’s motivations change with respect to work or to continue studying as a result of the business cycle conditions. In order to analyse this question empirically, we will use the European Labour Force Survey and exploit the great disparities in the severity of the current economic situation across European regions and countries to identify the effects of the economic crisis on decisions relating to education.

Lead partner: UDG. Participants: ISSK. Duration: Months 13-18.

NEGOTIATE Working paper No. 5.1: “Are recessions good for human capital accumulation?” Download paper: NEGOTIATE working paper D5.1 (pdf)

Task 5.2 Economic crisis and the decisions on leaving home and family formation

Study how the increased job insecurity that has accompanied the Great Recession is shaping young people’s decisions on leaving home and forming a new family. Has the mean age at which young people leave home become even more diverse across Europe? What is the role of job insecurity in determining leaving and returning to the parental home? What are the consequences of leaving home decisions on youth poverty risks? And what are the economic consequences for the family of origin of the delayed leaving home of young members? A cross-country analysis will be carried out. EU-SILC and EU LFS will be the principle data sources.

Lead partner: UDG. Participants: PUE. Duration: Months 19-24.

NEGOTIATE Working paper No. 5.2: “Negotiating private life: consequences of early job insecurity and labour market exclusion for household and family formation”. Download paper: NEGOTIATE_working_paper_5.2 (pdf)

Task 5.3 Early job-insecurity and the scope for agency

Comparative and gender-sensitive qualitative analysis of how young persons’ early job insecurity affects the scope for active agency with regard to the inter-related decisions about education, choice of occupation, leaving home and family formation. We are especially interested in revealing the mechanisms of gendered labour market outcomes and the patterns of social marginalisation of young people. The core data will come from the semi-structured life course interviews of women and men belonging to three birth cohorts (1950-55, 1970-75 and 1990-95) coordinated together with WP4 (specified in section 1.3.2 and under WP4 above). The responses from the youngest cohort will be especially important for WP5 as they can provide the most direct insights into how the current generation of young adults in Europe are negotiating the challenges associated with the economic crisis. The analysis comprises seven countries (BG, CZ, DE, EL, NO, PL, UK).

Lead partner: ISSK. Participants: HiOA-NOVA, UB, UOB, MU, PUE, and UPSPS. Duration: Months 14-24

NEGOTIATE Working paper No. 5.3: “An interview study of early job insecurity and consequences for the transition to adulthood”. Download paper: NEGOTIATE_working_paper_5.3 (pdf)

Task 5.4 Transitions to adulthood and the role of skills formation systems

Assess the role of different education and skills formation systems and national youth unemployment polices in creating differences across European countries in how young people manage the transition to work and negotiate their private life. The findings from the qualitative interviews (task 5.3) will be compared with the conclusions from the quantitative analyses (in tasks 5.1-5.2) to be able to specify the mechanisms that explain the observed patterns in a more nuanced manner. The assessment will be informed by the work done in WP3 in general and in particular task 3.3. The analysis will contribute to developing more robust and inclusive labour market and education policies in the participating countries.

Lead partner: ISSK. Participant: HiOA-NOVA. Duration: 24-29.