WP6 Negotiating scarring


WP6 has as its main objective to investigate the long-term consequences, i.e. the ‘scarring effects’ or stigmatization related to job insecurity at the early stage of career formation across different educational and labour market contexts. Comprehensive knowledge on the long-term implications of insecure transitions across different institutional arrangements is highly relevant for policy decisions in terms of minimising the negative long-term consequences resulting from specific education and employment policies. The overarching objective will be achieved by focusing on three secondary objectives:

  • Assess and develop further methodological tools to identify and explain the potential scarring effects of experiencing early job insecurity and unemployment.
  • Investigate, using high-quality national longitudinal data, scarring effects due to early job-insecurity and uncertain employment conditions in the first job within four different national and institutional contexts.
  • Improve our understanding of cross-country variation in scarring effects based on a comparison across a strategic selection of institutional and national contexts (NO, PL, CH, UK).
  • Provide new knowledge about the dynamics of stigmatisation of young unemployed.

Description of work:

Task 6.1 Methodological review

Review of methods that have been used to identify and explain scarring effects. The purpose here is to identify, critically assess and further develop relevant and efficient methodological approaches. Since the effects of early labour market experiences are endogenous, the methods we use have to be capable of dealing with this problem. One innovative and promising set of methods that allows for the estimation of causal effects based on non-experimental data will be propensity-score matching.

Lead partner: UNIBAS. Participants: UDG and PUE. Duration: 6-11.

NEGOTIATE Working paper No. 6.1: “Methodological challenges in the study of scarring effects of early job insecurity”. Download paper: NEGOTIATE working paper D6.1 (pdf)

Task 6.2 Occupational prospects of the young at risk

Analysis of national longitudinal data for Switzerland, United Kingdom, Poland and Norway. Beyond scarring due to early unemployment, we take into account that young women and men ‘negotiate’ what kinds of first jobs they take up and how much mismatch they allow for when they are confronted with fewer options and higher insecurity at labour market entry. These types of first jobs accepted may then turn into traps with regard to their later employment trajectories. Therefore we are especially interested in going beyond the state of the art in the analysis of scarring effects and focus on long-term implications of trade-offs made when ‘choosing’ a first job across differing social strata and institutional arrangements.

The respective national longitudinal data sets for secondary analysis of scarring effects include the Swiss youth panel survey ‘TREE’, the Polish ‘Social Diagnosis’ household panel data, ‘The Work, Lifestyle and Health Survey’ and ‘Young in Norway – Longitudinal’ for Norway, and the ‘1970 British Cohort Study’ and ‘Understanding Society’ for the United Kingdom. With respect to the methodological challenges, propensity-score matching (statistical twins) will be used for data balancing when examining the non-experimental data. This allows addressing the question of what the occupational prospects of the young at risk would have been in a specific institutional setting, had they not experienced early job insecurity.

Lead partner: UNIBAS, HiOA-NOVA, UoB, PUE. Duration: 12-18.

NEGOTIATE Working paper No. 6.2: “Explaining consequences of employment insecurity: The dynamics of scarring in the United Kingdom, Poland and Norway” Download paper: NEGOTIATE working paper D6.2 (pdf)

Task 6.3 Comparative analyses of scarring effects in Europe

Comparative quantitative analysis of scarring effects. This task will focus on cross-country differences in scarring that may be caused by country-specific educational and labour market structures and policies. We will compare four strategically chosen countries (NO, PL, CH, and the UK) that represent distinctive institutional school-to-work transition contexts (Scandinavian, Central/Eastern European, German, and Anglo-Saxon).

A major outcome of this study will be the development of a set of comparative hypotheses with regard to the magnitude and persistence of scarring effects concerning several monetary and non-monetary domains relevant to the occupational prospects and the individual development of the young in the longer run. These hypotheses will be tested using comparable longitudinal data. Regarding the operationalization of hypotheses, the country teams who contributed to Task 6.2 will exchange their profound knowledge on the national data at hand, particularly with regard to data comparability of the panel studies analysed.

Lead partner: UNIBAS. Participants: HiOA-NOVA, UoB, PUE. Duration: 19-24

NEGOTIATE Working paper No. 6.3: “Understanding cross-country variation in the long-term consequences of graduating at a bad time: A comparison of five European countries”. Download paper: NEGOTIATE_working_paper_6.3 (pdf)

Task 6.4 The linkages between stigma and labour market conditions

Comparative analysis of linkages between the stigmatisation associated with early unemployment and general labour market conditions (e.g., in relation to the business cycle or the incidence of voluntary unemployment, which is particularly relevant in the case of women). We know that employers may be reluctant to hire persons with a history of long-term or frequent periods of unemployment. Employers may believe that the human capital of unemployed individuals deteriorates while jobless or simply believe that they are less motivated or less productive workers.

Stigmatization of unemployed is particularly prevalent during periods of economic growth. Hence, the objective of this task is to analyse the importance of the stigmatization of young unemployed in different institutional and national contexts and in different historical periods while taking into account differences by age and gender. We ask whether in times of economic crisis individuals with a history of early unemployment are less likely to experience stigma.

Furthermore, to what extent are employers less suspicious against formerly unemployed young individuals in contexts where voluntary unemployment is more widespread? With this purpose in mind, we will conduct a cross-country study analysing data from the EU LFS and the EU-SILC.

NEGOTIATE Working paper No. 6.4: “Youth unemployment and stigmatization across Europe: A comparative analysis”: NEGOTIATE_working_paper_no_D6.4 (pdf) 

Lead partner: UDG. Duration: 24-30