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Youth unemployment rate and impact of financial crises

Misbah Tanveer Choudhry (Department of Economics and Econometrics, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands)
Enrico Marelli (Department of Economics, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy)
Marcello Signorelli (Department of Economics, Finance and Statistics, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 23 March 2012




The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of financial crises on the youth unemployment rate (YUR). The authors consider different types of financial crises (systemic banking crises, non‐systemic banking crises, currency crises and debt crises) and different groups of countries, according to their income level.


After a review of the existing (theoretical and empirical) literature on the determinants of the YUR in general and at the occurrence of economic crises, the authors present empirical estimations on the impact of past financial crises on young workers. The relationship between financial crises and YUR is investigated by employing fixed effects panel estimation on a large panel of countries (about 70) around the world for the period 1980‐2005. The “persistence” over time of the impact is also investigated. Finally the Arellano‐Bond dynamic panel is estimated, confirming the significance of the results.


According to the authors’ empirical estimates, two key results are relevant: financial crises have an impact on the YUR that goes beyond the impact resulting from GDP changes; and the effect on the YUR is greater than the effect on overall unemployment. The inclusion of many control variables – including in particular GDP growth – does not change the sign and significance of the key explanatory variable. The results suggest that financial crises affect the YUR for five years after the onset of the crises; however, the most adverse effects are found in the second and third year after the financial crisis.

Research limitations/implications

Although fully aware of the peculiarities of the last crisis, the authors believe that the econometric results facilitate a better understanding of the impact of the 2007‐2008 financial crisis on the youth labour market.

Practical implications

The main policy implication is that effective active labour market policies and better school‐to‐work transition institutions are particularly needed to reduce the risk of persistence and structural (long‐term) unemployment, since young people have been worst affected by the last crisis.


There are many studies on the characteristics and causes of youth unemployment; considerable research has also been carried out into the labour market impact of financial crises. This paper brings the two strands of literature together, by econometrically investigating the impact of financial crises on YUR.



Tanveer Choudhry, M., Marelli, E. and Signorelli, M. (2012), "Youth unemployment rate and impact of financial crises", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 76-95.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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