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This chapter begins with a short overview of the economic context of transformation, identifying important contextual factors such as the diversity of existing initial conditions and institutional economic reforms. It follows with an examination of trends and cross-country differences in labour market dynamics of the ten CEE countries. The focus lies on sectoral employment reallocation, changes in labour force participation rates and unemployment dynamics, with a specific focus on youth. The discussion looks at the role of employment in the informal sector and the incidence of flexible employment forms like labour contracts with limited duration and part-time work. It also discusses the nature of labour market institutions CEE countries adopted after the transition is discussed. Earlier research has singled out the dimensions of labour market regulations and industrial relations. The chapter also describes indicators like union density and the degree of centralisation/coordination.

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A handbook of education, labour and welfare regimes in Central and Eastern Europe

The expansion of the European Union (EU) has put an end to the East-West division of Europe. At the same time it has increased the cultural heterogeneity, social disparities and economic imbalances within the EU, exemplified in the lower living standards and higher unemployment rates in some of the new member states.

This important new reference work describes the education systems, labour markets and welfare production regimes in the 10 new Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries. In three comparative chapters, discussing each of these domains in turn, the editors provide a set of theory-driven, comprehensive and informative indicators that allow comparisons and rankings within the new EU member states. Ten country-specific chapters follow, each written by experts from those countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. These chapters provide detailed information on each country’s education and training systems, labour market structure and regulations, and its provision of formal and informal welfare support. An important component of each country chapter is the explanation of the historical background and the specific national conditions for the institutional choices in the transitional years.

The handbook provides policy makers with the tools to assess the institutional changes in CEE countries, and scholars with ways to apply the proposed indicators to their analytic research. It will be a vital resource that no major research library should be without.

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The Multifaceted Consequences of Labour Market Insecurity

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

Policymakers throughout Europe are enacting policies to support youth labour market integration. However, many young people continue to face unemployment, job insecurity, and the subsequent consequences.

Adopting a mixed-method and multilevel perspective, this book provides a comprehensive investigation into the multifaceted consequences of social exclusion. Drawing on rich pan-European comparative and quantitative data, and interviews with young people from across Europe, this text gives a platform to the unheard voices of young people.

Contributors derive crucial new policy recommendations and offer fresh insights into areas including youth well-being, health, poverty, leaving the parental home, and qualifying for social security.

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Most previous research in this area has addressed the drivers of youth job insecurity and especially youth unemployment. Gathering and implementing knowledge to prevent youth unemployment and support youth pathways out of temporary jobs is a highly relevant research activity. Moreover, there is also an urgent need to understand the consequences of such individual-level labour market insecurities, because unemployment along with extended periods of temporary employment, including a chain of mini-jobs, are a widespread phenomenon among youth. Likewise, policies need to be evaluated not only in terms of their ability to tackle youth labour market vulnerability per se, but also regarding the role these policies play in mitigating the consequences of labour market insecurity on other dimensions of young people’s lives. This book extends the limited amount of previous European comparative research in this field (see, for example, Blossfeld et al, 2005; Gallie, 2013; Vossemer et al, 2018; Stasiowski and Kłobuszewska, 2018; Högberg et al, 2019a, 2019b; Hvinden et al, 2019; Täht et al, 2020).The chapters of this book do not follow the same line of analysis for all countries, but take more of a comparative approach providing systematic in-depth insights into the different consequences of individual-level labour market insecurities in Europe for the risks of social exclusion of youth. Starting from a shared multilevel theoretical model, the book approaches this research topic empirically from a multimethod and European comparative perspective. The aim is to promote comparative qualitative research by adding to the almost non-existent qualitative literature on young people’s own perceptions of labour market insecurity from a comparative perspective.

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Labour market insecurities are widespread among young people in Europe, and they represent a key challenge to society. Comparative research has shown that, across Europe, youth often experience labour market exclusion in terms of periods of unemployment and episodes of being not in employment, education, or training (NEET) (Eurofound, 2012; Dietrich, 2013; Lange et al, 2014; O’Reilly et al, 2015; Rokicka et al, 2018). Moreover, if young people actually do find a job, they often face job insecurity in the form of temporary jobs (Baranowska and Gebel, 2010; Karamessini et al, 2019; Passaretta and Wolbers, 2019). Indeed, labour market insecurities hit young people more often than the rest of the population in Europe (Breen, 2005; Baranowska and Gebel, 2010).

However, counter to the rhetoric in public and political debates, trend studies cannot confirm a general increase in youth NEET and temporary employment over time (Gebel and Giesecke, 2016). Instead, there are strong cyclical components, because youth are affected specifically by business cycle fluctuations (Dietrich, 2013; Lange et al, 2014). They were affected particularly during crises such as the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent debt and Eurozone crises (Choudhry et al, 2012; Marques and Hörisch, 2020). Such crises are expected to have a potentially detrimental effect on the future of these young people in the form of ‘scar effects’ (Unt and Täht, 2020). Indeed, concerns have been raised as to whether the so-called Great Recession has produced a ‘lost generation’ of young people (Hur, 2018).

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