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Youth unemployment, NEETs and structural inequality in Spain

Paula Rodriguez-Modroño (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 16 January 2019




The purpose of this paper is to apply an intersectional analysis to assess the impact of structural factors on the risk of being a NEET for youth in Spain. The author study if inequalities have changed after the economic crisis, once youth policies designed to improve the Spanish school-to-work transition (SWT) system were implemented.


Drawing on microdata from the Spanish Survey on Income and Living Conditions, the paper compares the probability of becoming not in employment, education or training (NEET) of young men and women born inside or outside Spain and living in different types of households.


Although unemployment rates have improved since the end of the crisis, the situation regarding youth employment, poverty and inequalities remains challenging. Gender and other structural differences are usually ignored in policy debates and in the measures adopted to fight youth unemployment, leading to the persistance of inequalities.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis illustrates new lines and trajectories in the segmentation of youth labor markets along the lines of gender, household and country of origin.

Practical implications

The findings highlight the need for introducing an analysis of the different sources of vulnerability in policy designs in order to promote a real and sustainable change in SWTs.


The contribution of this research to the literature on NEET and SWT is to introduce a framework that allows for the intersectional analysis of gender and other structural inequalities.



Rodriguez-Modroño, P. (2019), "Youth unemployment, NEETs and structural inequality in Spain", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 433-448.



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