Europe’s attention to youth policies has become more and more marked over time and this has been precisely in order to respond to the needs created by the unemployment and NEET phenomenon, which have become major issues at European level. This represents a challenge for the EU labour market, made even more urgent by socio-economic changes, the current political crisis, and the health emergency linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, cross-regional differences are remarkably high. Available evidence highlights the gap in youth labour market integration between the welfare regimes of Central-Northern Europe and those of the Mediterranean area. In this perspective, this PhD thesis examines the main theoretical constructs of youth policies by performing an extensive literature review to better understand the differences in regional contexts and the factors that hinder or promote their effectiveness. The traditional Italian family-based and sub-protective welfare system, when it comes to these phenomena, represents a more extreme case of general transformations that are traversing Europe, as Italy is one of the European countries with the highest rates of NEET s and unemployed young people. On the other hand, the corporatist Austrian welfare state is based on a strong role of social partners and is characterized by a long tradition of incremental reforms and continuity in social policies, which tend to favour the entry of young people into the labour market through an integrated school-to-work transition. In this regard, Austria and Italy were selected as case studies, through a multi-level and multi-method comparative analysis that aims to evaluate different aspects of youth policies in their complexity. An exploratory study, analyzing the data collected through a survey to investigate the implementation of labour market policies in the territorial contexts considered, permitted the definition of the evaluative dimensions on which the subsequent qualitative research focused. In particular, in-depth interviews with key informants, such as policymakers and experts at national, regional, and local level in the Austrian and Italian contexts, have allowed to compare the different perceptions and meanings assigned by the stakeholders to the policies considered and to evaluate, through the investigation of governance mechanisms, how actors interact at various levels and whether they intervene in the negotiation of policy choices. The outcome of empirical research also provide insight into the specific ALMP s implemented by the EU, highlighting the limits inherent in the activation of standardized measures to combat complex and highly diversified phenomena such as youth unemployment and in particular NEET s. The different views that emerged underline the complexity both the implementation of youth policies and of the system’s multilevel governance.

Labour market policies and youth unemployment: a comparative evaluation between Italy and Austria

GIANNONI, PAOLA
2022-11-22

Abstract

Europe’s attention to youth policies has become more and more marked over time and this has been precisely in order to respond to the needs created by the unemployment and NEET phenomenon, which have become major issues at European level. This represents a challenge for the EU labour market, made even more urgent by socio-economic changes, the current political crisis, and the health emergency linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, cross-regional differences are remarkably high. Available evidence highlights the gap in youth labour market integration between the welfare regimes of Central-Northern Europe and those of the Mediterranean area. In this perspective, this PhD thesis examines the main theoretical constructs of youth policies by performing an extensive literature review to better understand the differences in regional contexts and the factors that hinder or promote their effectiveness. The traditional Italian family-based and sub-protective welfare system, when it comes to these phenomena, represents a more extreme case of general transformations that are traversing Europe, as Italy is one of the European countries with the highest rates of NEET s and unemployed young people. On the other hand, the corporatist Austrian welfare state is based on a strong role of social partners and is characterized by a long tradition of incremental reforms and continuity in social policies, which tend to favour the entry of young people into the labour market through an integrated school-to-work transition. In this regard, Austria and Italy were selected as case studies, through a multi-level and multi-method comparative analysis that aims to evaluate different aspects of youth policies in their complexity. An exploratory study, analyzing the data collected through a survey to investigate the implementation of labour market policies in the territorial contexts considered, permitted the definition of the evaluative dimensions on which the subsequent qualitative research focused. In particular, in-depth interviews with key informants, such as policymakers and experts at national, regional, and local level in the Austrian and Italian contexts, have allowed to compare the different perceptions and meanings assigned by the stakeholders to the policies considered and to evaluate, through the investigation of governance mechanisms, how actors interact at various levels and whether they intervene in the negotiation of policy choices. The outcome of empirical research also provide insight into the specific ALMP s implemented by the EU, highlighting the limits inherent in the activation of standardized measures to combat complex and highly diversified phenomena such as youth unemployment and in particular NEET s. The different views that emerged underline the complexity both the implementation of youth policies and of the system’s multilevel governance.
Youth labour market policies
NEET
Youth unemployment
EU
Comparative analysis
Multilevel governance
ALMPs
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1099275
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