“What works? The effectiveness of youth employment programs”

Berlin, Germany, 29 – 30 June 2017


Young people out of work are a population at risk in developed and developing economies alike: first, the average share of jobless youths is typically twice as high as the corresponding share among adults. Second, youth unemployment shows excess cyclical volatility, i.e. youths’ probability of job loss during recessions exceeds that of adult workers. “Scarring effects” exacerbate the consequences of youth unemployment, as time out-of-work early in the lifecycle negatively impacts long-term labor market outcomes. Fourth, in low- and middle income countries, youths struggle to enter a quality job, due to lack of skills, lack of access to education, or lack of information. Finally, all these patterns may lead to discouraging youths entirely, leaving them outside of employment, education, and training.

The Conference
The conference brings together policy makers and government officials, practitioners from NGOs, experts from international organizations, and researchers working on aspects of helping disadvantaged youths find quality employment. The focus of the conference is to learn about effective youth policies. We expect and will encourage a lively and open discussion among all conference attendees.

The event takes place at the GIZ-Haus in the heart of Berlin (Reichpietschufer 20, 10785 Berlin). The conference is part of a research project that RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research is conducting together with GIZ – Sector Project Employment Promotion, the International Labour Organisation ILO, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank IDB. The project is financed by the Leibniz Association.

Full album


Day 1 – Thursday 29 June

  • 12:30 – 13:30 Lunch and Registration

  • 13:30 – 14:00 Introduction to the conference: Prof. Jochen Kluve (RWI and HU Berlin)

  • 14:00 – 15:00 Plenary session 1:

    Prof. Michael Rosholm (Aarhus University)
    "Bridging the Gap from Welfare to Education: Evidence for NEETs in Denmark"
    Dr. Pablo Ibarrarán (Inter-American Development Bank)
    "Experimental evidence on the long-term impacts of a youth training program"
    Chair: Juan Chacaltana (ILO)

  • 15:00 – 15:30 Coffee break

  • 15:30 – 17:00 Parallel session 1:

    Session 1-A: Evidence from high-income countries
    Prof. Pierre Koning (University of Leiden)
    "Preventing NEETs During the Great Recession: The Effects of a Mandatory Activation Program for Young Welfare Recipients"
    Dr. Jordi Sanz (Iválua Barcelona)
    "Bringing NEETs back to the ‘Mobile’ labour market: an experimental evaluation of the Mobilitza’t Programme"
    Prof. Anett John (CREST Paris and CSAE Oxford)
    "You Get What You Pay For: Evidence from a Jobseeker Conditional Cash Transfer Program in France"
    Chair: Dr. Ronald Bachmann (RWI)

    Session 1-B: Evidence from developing countries
    Dr. Alexandra Löwe and Dr. Lukasz Marc (both ODI)
    "The Labour Market Experiences of Young Ghanaians in the Cocoa Sector and Initial Findings from a Training Intervention"
    Dr. Stefanie Brodmann (The World Bank)
    "The Long-Term Impact of Entrepreneurship Education on Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial among University Students in Tunisia"
    Clemente Pignatti (ILO)
    "Active labour market programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean: Evidence from a meta analysis"
    Chair: Dr. Nils aus dem Moore (RWI)

  • 17:00 – 18:00 Keynote lecture: Prof. Jeffrey Smith (University of Michigan) “Remarks on the Evaluation of Labor Market Programs”
    Chair: Prof. Rajshri Jayamaran (ESMT Berlin)

  • 19:00               Get together (beer garden)

Day 2 – Friday 30 June

  • Coffee and croissants

  • 09:00 – 10:00 Plenary session 2:

    Dr. Laura Ralston (World Bank)
    "Generating employment in poor and fragile states: Evidence from labor market and entrepreneurship programs"
    Dr. David Robalino (The World Bank) and Jonathan Stöterau (RWI)
    "Do Youth Employment Programs Improve Labor Market Outcomes? A Systematic Review"
    Chair: Prof. Macartan Humphreys (Columbia University and WZB)

  • 10:00 – 10:30 Coffee break

  • 10:30 – 12:00 Parallel session 2:

    Session 2-A: Evidence from developing countries
    Prof. Bruno Crépon (CREST and J-PAL)
    "Renovated subsidized apprenticeship in Cote d'Ivoire: impacts on firms and youth”
    Prof. Nathan Fiala (University of Connecticut)
    "Business is tough, but family is worse: Household bargaining and investment decisions in Uganda"
    Prof. Furio Rosati (University of Rome "Tor Vergata")
    "The impact of cash transfer on youth and adolescent labour supply"
    Chair: Prof. Lukas Menkhoff (DIW and HU Berlin)

    Session 2-B: Evidence from Europe
    Dr. Alexandra Avdeenko (University of Mannheim)
    "How Important are Firm Visits for High School Students? Evidence from a Randomized-Control Trial"
    Dr. Giulia Santangelo (European Commission JRC)
    "Vocational training and labour market outcomes: Evidence from Youth Guarantee in Latvia"
    Andreea Minea (Sciences Po)
    "The Difficult School-to-Work Transition of High School Dropouts: Evidence from a field experiment"
    Chair: Prof. Michael Kvasnicka (University of Magdeburg)

  • 12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

  • 13:00 – 13:45 Keynote lecture: Dr. Howard White (Campbell Collaboration) “The Third Wave of the Evidence Revolution: Using global evidence to inform local policy and practice”

  • 13:45 – 15:00 Policy Panel – What effective policies do we need for disadvantaged youths in the developing and the developed world?

    Dr. Susana Puerto (ILO)
    Kerstin Nagels (GIZ)
    Dr. Howard White (Campbell Collaboration)
    Clémentine Moyart (European Youth Forum)
    Alona Tutova (Govt. of the Republic of Latvia)

    Moderator: Dr. David Robalino (The World Bank)
  • 15:00 – 15:15 Closing

Please register here. There is no conference or registration fee.
Conference organizer: Prof. Jochen Kluve, RWI and Humboldt University Berlin.