Youth Unemployment and Employment Policy: A Global Perspective

O’Higgins, N. 2001. Youth unemployment and employment policy: A global perspective (Geneva, ILO).

228 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2017

See all articles by Niall O'Higgins

Niall O'Higgins

University of Salerno - Department of Economics; ILO; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: June 15, 2001


This study discusses in depth the youth unemployment "problem" and examines the various policy responses to it, including education and training, and active labour market policy. It emphasizes the need for adequate labour market information, policy monitoring and programme evaluation to help provide more and better-quality jobs for young people - while also offering specific recommendations and guidelines for this age group in industrialized, transition and developing countries, While analysing the characteristics, causes and consequences of youth unemployment, the study explores the nature of the youth labour market and how it differs from the labour market for other workers. It looks at minimum wages, as well as the pivotal role of education and training systems. It also identifies vital ILO instruments concerned with young people and examines the broader international policy challenges faced by many countries around the world. In particular, it discusses the failure of many countries to integrate young people into good, quality employment. Active labour market policies, both successful and unsuccessful, are evaluated, and the book looks closely at policies promoting wage employment, self-employment and programmes aimed at disadvantaged young people. The book reveals how youth unemployment is first and foremost a consequence of poor macroeconomic performance and suggests ways in which countries can formulate coordinated youth employment policies according to the state of their economies. In contrast to prevalent approaches in the literature, it emphasizes the need to go beyond a purely supply-side response. The study includes strategies for involving governments, as well as employers' and workers' organizations, in tackling youth unemployment and providing alternatives.

Keywords: youth labour markets, youth employment policy, active labour market policies, vocational education and training

JEL Classification: J13, I28, J24, J18

Suggested Citation

O'Higgins, Shane Niall and O'Higgins, Shane Niall, Youth Unemployment and Employment Policy: A Global Perspective (June 15, 2001). O’Higgins, N. 2001. Youth unemployment and employment policy: A global perspective (Geneva, ILO)., Available at SSRN:

Shane Niall O'Higgins (Contact Author)

University of Salerno - Department of Economics ( email )

Via John Paul II, 132
Fisciano (SA), 84084

ILO ( email )

CH-1211 Geneva 22


IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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