Martina Bazzoli, Sonia Marzadro, Antonio Schizzerotto, Ugo Trivellato

How did the working stories of the youth change over the last forty years? Evidence from a pilot

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Keywords: Labor Force and Employment; Job, Occupational, and Intergenerational Mobility; Panel Data Models; Economic Sociology.

The paper deals with changes in the work histories' patterns of two cohorts of young people living in the province of Trento (Italy) and aged 15-29 years, who got their first job in 1974/95 and 1999/2011, respectively. We build and use a database resulting from the deterministic matching and integration of two datasets: a multi-purpose panel survey carried out on a representative sample of households, and register data from the provincial section of the administrative archive of INPS − the Italian social security agency. From a methodological point of view, the integrated database gives clear evidence that register data provide much more detailed and reliable information on work histories than survey data. From a substantive perspective, we find sizeable changes across the two cohorts in (i) first job spells, (ii) number and length of work episodes in a time-window of eight years from entry in the first job, and (iii) the overall pattern of job participation and job mobility during the initial eight years of work histories. On the contrary, no variation across cohorts in career mobility patterns is observed. The evidence consistently points to a significant worsening of the working experience of the youth over less than two decades. With appropriate caveats, this evidence appears to be extensible to northern- central Italy.

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