Education systems and labour market pathways

This project focused on the link between different education systems and labour market pathways, taking into account historic trends and recent developments.

The first study analysed the role of macro-level features of educational systems in the production of specific individual career patterns and labour market pathways in 13 European countries. It aimed to shed light on processes of cumulative (dis-)advantage regarding the link between educational inequalities and labour market career development, especially from a perspective of gender disparities. It drew on the third wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARELIFE). These data were combined with macro-level indicators of the national educational systems, including standardisation, stratification, vocational specificity, and educational expenditure.

The second study compared the school-to-work transition of graduates from soft and hard disciplines before and during the financial crisis. It assumed that pathways into employment are more diverse during times of economic paucity; however, this should not be the case for all subject areas. In fact, it showed that soft fields of study navigate times of crisis better compared to hard disciplines; especially business administration and economics show more discontinuous transition patterns into the labour market during financial crisis. These analyses were conducted by using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, and were extended to comparison with the UK by using the BHPS/Understanding Society data.

Policy relevance:
These studies are highly relevant for policy as they assess the dynamic nature of transitions from the education to the employment system in order to provide a better understanding of how changes in structural circumstances shape career pathways in the labour market.