Laura Chies, Achille Puggioni, Roberto Stok

The 'Limbo' between Graduation and First Employment: Do Science and Technology Degrees Shorten it? A Case Study of the University of Trieste

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Keywords: University-To-Work Transition; Cox Proportional Hazard Model; Competing Risk Model; Trieste University; Local Labour Market.

Italy constantly stands out among the European countries with regard to the length of the university-to-work transition. This paper analyses the first employment of graduates of the University of Trieste, between 2000 and 2007, who were employed in the private sector of the regions Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto. The factors related to the time required to obtain a first employment are identified using a Cox Model, with single and competitive risks, in order to account for the effects of different labour contracts. For this purpose, the variables considered are, on the supply side, the characteristics of the workers, such as their field of studies (scientific-technological versus socio-humanistic). The technological intensity of local firms, the contract types and the positions offered are used to capture the demand side. The analysis suggests that graduates in science and technology face a shorter limbo, especially for those hired with permanent contracts. Nevertheless they are not granted a faster entry in medium, high-tech and knowledge intensive firms.

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