Faces of Joblessness in Italy: A People-Centred Perspective on Employment Barriers and Policies

79 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2018

See all articles by Daniele Pacifico

Daniele Pacifico

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

James Browne

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Rodrigo Fernandez

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Herwig Immervoll

World Bank, Europe and Central Asia; Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Social Policy Division; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; ISER Institute for Social and Economic Research; University of Canberra - National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM); United Nations - European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research

Dirk Neumann

University of Cologne

Céline Thévenot

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Abstract

In the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis, large shares of working-age individuals in Italy either did not work or only to a limited extent. As the employment rate bottomed out in 2013, 32% were without employment during the entire year, and a further 7% had weak labour-market attachment, working only a fraction of the year, or on restricted working hours. This paper applies a novel method for measuring and visualising employment barriers of individuals with no or weak labour-market attachment, using household micro-data.It first develops indicators to quantify employment obstacles under three broad headings: (i) work-related capabilities, (ii) incentives, and (iii) employment opportunities. It then uses these indicators in conjunction with a statistical clustering approach to identify unobserved ("latent") groups of individuals facing similar combinations of barriers. The resulting typology of labour-market difficulties provides insights on the most pressing policy priorities in supporting different groups into employment.A detailed policy discussion illustrates the use of these empirical results to inform people-centred assessments of existing labour-market integration measures and of key challenges across different policy areas and institutions. The most common employment obstacles in Italy were limited work experience, low education and skill levels, and scarce job opportunities. Although financial disincentives, health limitations and care responsibilities were less widespread overall, they remained important barriers for some groups.A striking finding is that more than half of jobless or low-intensity workers face three or more simultaneous barriers, highlighting the limits of narrow policy approaches that focus on subsets of these employment obstacles in isolation.

Keywords: employment barriers, profiling, activation, policy coordination

JEL Classification: C38, H31, J2, J6, J8

Suggested Citation

Pacifico, Daniele and Browne, James and Fernandez, Rodrigo and Immervoll, Herwig and Neumann, Dirk and Thévenot, Céline, Faces of Joblessness in Italy: A People-Centred Perspective on Employment Barriers and Policies. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11768, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3249882

Daniele Pacifico (Contact Author)

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

James Browne

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Rodrigo Fernandez

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Herwig Immervoll

World Bank, Europe and Central Asia ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Social Policy Division ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France
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(33 1) 44 30 61 78 (Fax)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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ISER Institute for Social and Economic Research ( email )

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University of Canberra - National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) ( email )

Canberra, ACT 2601
AUSTRALIA

HOME PAGE: http://www.canberra.edu.au/centres/natsem/people/associates/herwig-immervoll

United Nations - European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research ( email )

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Austria

HOME PAGE: http://www.euro.centre.org

Dirk Neumann

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

Céline Thévenot

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

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