Just enough Education to Perform: The labour market integration of early school leavers in a European cross-national perspective
Title: Just enough Education to Perform: The labour market integration of early school leavers in a European cross-national perspective
Author: VAN ALPHEN, Stan
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2010
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
This thesis concerns the labour market outcomes of early school leavers in a European, cross-national perspective. More specifically, it deals with the way country level factors shape the disadvantages these early school leavers experience on the European labour market, when compared with those who have at least upper secondary education. To the extent that country level variation in the labour market integration of early school leavers can be attributed to specific institutional and macro-structural characteristics, it enriches the single cross-national definition of early school leaving, and points towards best practices that can be learned from. The overarching research question that runs through this thesis is twofold. To what extent is the labour market integration of early school leavers in Europe obstructed by the country-specific macro-structural factors underlying a knowledge economy? And, second, can the various education and labour market policies across the European countries help to decrease the relative labour market disadvantage of early school leavers? The concept of early school leaving, the process of ranking and rating countries on the basis of institutional and macro-structural characteristics, and the increasing availability of standardised country level indicators have all developed through a cross-fertilisation of academic research and EU policy making, which is why this thesis draws upon both the empirical literature and the Lisbon objectives when arguing the relevance of the research and formulating its conclusions. Using the ESS, the ECHP, and the EU-SILC, this thesis addresses the cross-level influences of educational expansion, skill-biased occupational change, the type and quality of the education and training system, and labour market policies. In conclusion, attention is drawn to the three most relevant findings in this research. These are (1) the downside of an equitable educational system, (2) the benefit of a higher educational quality, and (3) the influence of durable active labour market policy.
LC Subject Heading: Labor market -- European Union countries; School-to-work transition -- European Union countries; Youth -- Employment -- Europe
Defense date: 28/05/2010; Examining Board: Fabrizio Bernardi (EUI), Jaap Dronkes (formerly EUI/Univ. Maastricht) (Supervisor), Markus Gangl (Univ. Wisconsin) (in absentia), Irena Kogan (Univ. Mannheim)
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