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Work-poor and work-rich families: influence on youth labour market outcomes

posted on 2023-06-09, 06:35 authored by Gabriella Berloffa, Marianna Filandri, Eleonora Matteazzi, Tiziana Nazio, Nicola Negri, Jacqueline O'ReillyJacqueline O'Reilly, Paola Villa, Carolina Zuccotti
This working paper sets out to examine trends in the distribution of work between households and how this affects the employment likelihood of young people in Europe. A significant body of literature has indicated the growth of work-poor and work-rich households. These are households where either nobody is in employment in contrast to households were at least two people, usually the parents, are both working. The central policy concern about this observable trend since the 1990s is to develop policies to reduce the number of households were no one is working. Concern with this development is due to the consequences and legacies of intergenerational transmission of the disadvantages associated with unemployment alongside the increased risks faced by children living in poverty. The causes of these family legacies has been contested between those who claim that this is a product of 'cultures of dependency' in contrast to those who attribute this phenomena to structural explanations such as the educational background of the parents or these households being located in areas of regional deprivation with high levels of unemployment. This research paper sets out to map these trends across Europe in recent years, before and after the financial crisis, in order to provide a background to these debates. This paper provides an initial summary of several pieces of research conducted by the partners in work package 8 Task 1, and is organised in the following way. • First, we briefly outline the theoretical debates accounting for generations of work-poor households and the policy implications from these different approaches for young people; • Second, we compare the distribution of these trends across Europe using the EU-SILC data; • Third, we examine the longer term family legacies of coming from different households and how these are associated with labour market outcomes for young people in Europe; • Fourth, we compare the impact of both parents and other siblings on the transitions around employment drawing on EU-SILC data and SHARE data; • Fifth, we examine the macro context and the effect of unemployment and housing benefits on youth employment trajectories; • Sixth, we focus on gender, ethnic and age differences in the context of the UK which has historically had high levels of jobless households; • We conclude by summarising the key findings and suggesting how these might inform policy concerns arising from this analysis.


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  • Published


STYLE Working Papers



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Brighton, UK

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  • Business and Management Publications


University of Brighton

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