Youth Guarantee: Looking for Explanations

Aiming to tackle the high levels of youth unemployment and rates of Not Employed, in Education, or Training (NEET), the European Union launched the flagship policy Youth Guarantee in 2013. In this article we evaluate this policy in order to reveal the lessons it can teach us and possible ways for its improvement to achieve a sustainable active labor market policy. We use the data collected through the Indicator Framework for Monitoring the Youth Guarantee to analyze the policy impact, limited to some of the countries with the highest NEET rates: those of the Mediterranean European Economic Area (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Spain). We used the data to create regression models for the evaluation of policy measures, spread, and achievements. In our findings we reveal the importance of time in the policy implementation, the differences and commonalities between the countries, and hidden problems in the data collection that lead to biases and misleading results. We conclude that it is too soon to judge the usefulness of the policy and recommend an improvement in the data collection process.
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