First Research Dimension

The first research dimension consists of three objectives. The first objective is to obtain a more refined understanding of the supply side of young adults’ employment by concentrating on how the intergenerational transmission of norms, values and social axioms in the context of family organization influences the economic self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship of young people. The concept of entrepreneurship is of particular relevance for youth unemployment and has been on the agenda of European educational policies for some time. According to the European Commission, entrepreneurship is important for job creation and the overall economic climate in a country (European Commission 2003), which is why the Europe 2020 strategy highlights entrepreneurship as an important tool for achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (European Commission 2010). Despite this emphasis policymakers place on entrepreneurship, we know surprisingly little about the factors driving or impeding such activity, particularly among young people. In fact, several reports emitted by EU institutions emphasize the need to better understand the fundamentals of entrepreneurship in order to govern entrepreneurial activities more effectively (e.g. European Commission 2003, 2012).

The second objective in the first research dimension is to examine how both supply side factors and demand side factors affect the employment situation of young people. In this context we are particularly interested in assessing the degree to which employment-related attitudes (e.g. loyalty, commitment, self-esteem, motivation and reliability) and skills (such as work-related knowledge acquired through education and training) of young adults match with the demands and expectations of employers. 

The third objective is to understand the long-term implications of youth unemployment, including its effects on both individuals and on the society as a whole. An improved understanding of the long-term effects of youth unemployment is an essential step involved in identifying effective policies. The importance of this objective is furthermore underscored by the fact that policy decisions generally involve not only a consideration of the potential benefits but also the costs societal groups must bear, something which could lower their acceptance of new legislation and therefore complicate problem solving. If, however, policymakers and the public have access to reliable information about the long-term effects of young adults’ unemployment, even very costly policy measures have increased chances of success.

The figure below outlines the individual research activities to be carried out within the first research dimension of the CUPESSE project and how they relate to one another.

Research Dimension 1: Causes and Effects of Youth Unemployment