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Quality of Life of Neet Youth across Europe: The Perceived Welfare of the 'out-of-School Jobless'

Abstract : Youth who are 'not in employment, education or training' NEET have become a prominent population sub-group in European social policy discussions. Recent research has begun exploring the conceptual clarity of this social group (Furlong, 2006), predictors and outcomes of NEET membership (Bruno, Marelli, and Signorelli, 2014), and cross-national variations in group composition and characteristics (B?lan, 2015). Indeed, an emerging body of evidence points to the strong role played by institutional arrangements, such as national education systems and labour market policies, in predicting youth unemployment and joblessness (Breen and Buchmann, 2002). However, international comparative research is limited regarding the experienced well-being of NEET individuals (Ervasti and Venetoklis, 2010; Goldman-Mellor et al., 2016), and lacking regarding the effects of national arrays of social policies on their levels of perceived welfare. The primary aim of the present research is thus to develop an international comparative perspective on the role of welfare state policy in promoting the well-being of this vulnerable group. We examine quality of life (QOL) indicators for NEET and non-NEET youth, as well as 'out-of-school jobless' adults, across 27 countries in Europe. The paper is divided into two parts. First, we frame our study from a welfare regimes perspective, focusing on the varying levels of social protection available, which have been shown to be instrumental in shaping wellbeing for other at-risk groups in society (Ono and Lee, 2013; Rothstein, 2010; Samuel and Hadjar, 2016). In classifying countries, we examine national characteristics in terms of the attribution of social benefits (accessibility generosity of the welfare state) and the part of the welfare burden assumed by families, but also in terms of the organization of entry transitions and employment protections typifying labour markets (Estevez-Abe, Iversen, and Soskice, 2001; Gangl, 2001; Wolbers, 2007). This approach allows us to take into account interplays in institutional arrangements, exploring both redistributive and preventative social policies (Brzinsky-Fay, 2017). In a preliminary analysis, we compare both rates of NEET status and relative youth unemployment rates, which capture the labour market disadvantage of youth as compared to older groups (Breen, 2005; Breen and Jonsson, 2005), among these contexts. We hypothesize that (1) the perceived welfare of NEET individuals will be lower than that of non-NEET youth, but higher than that of older 'out-of-school jobless' (30- to 44-year-old) individuals across country contexts; (2) these differences between groups will be minimized in contexts where comprehensive social protections are available; (3) NEET youth will fare comparatively better than older 'out-of-school jobless' adults in contexts where labour market entry opportunities are made more favourable to youth through the organisation of transitions into the labour market; (4) these differences will be greatest in country contexts where the 'familialization' of welfare is dominant ... In the second part of the paper, we measure three markers of QOL-self-reported health, social capital and subjective well-being -in order to test our postulates regarding the perceived welfare of these disengaged youth among countries. Analyses use pooled European Social Survey data from three consecutive waves (2012 2014 2016).
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02187658
Contributor : Bertille Theurel <>
Submitted on : Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 9:46:36 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 14, 2019 - 5:04:57 PM

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Jean-François Giret, Janine Jongbloed. Quality of Life of Neet Youth across Europe: The Perceived Welfare of the 'out-of-School Jobless'. Fathomless Futures. Algorithmic and Imagined, SASE (Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics), Jun 2019, New-York, United States. ⟨halshs-02187658⟩

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