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Cross-Sectoral Effect of Social Policies on Youth Transitions: Is the Theory of Youth Transition Regimes Useful?

Institutions
Social Policy
Social Welfare
Welfare State
Comparative Perspective
Youth
Anna Broka
Tallinn University
Anu Toots
Tallinn University
Anna Broka
Tallinn University

Abstract

The paper aims to analyse to what extent cross-sectoral accumulation of disadvantages can be explained by youth transition regimes (i.e. institutional factors)? As a departing point it takes the theory of youth transition regimes, YTR (Chevalier 2016, 2017; Walther 2006), elaborated for Western welfare regimes to capture the patterns of existing social policy arrangements available for young people of age. Chevalier (2017) demonstrates how importantly concept of family, education system and employment regulations vary across Bismarckian and Beveridgean welfare models and affect youth pathways to independency and adulthood. Yet, typology of youth transitions misses the horizontal cross-sectoral policy focus. In reality, regulations in one policy area effect the access to and mobility perspectives in another policy area. The cross-sectoral effects of social policies are to some extent universal, but we assume that youth transition regimes mediate their possible accumulation. Insurance based welfare systems put all young people in relatively disadvantaged position due their higher insecurity at labour market, which means that youth transition pathways are largely institutionally determined. In tax based welfare systems, the accumulation of advantages and disadvantages is mainly individually determined which brings to higher fragmentation of youth transition pathways. The paper attempts to contribute to existing knowledge in two ways. First, we extend the typology of YTR to Emerging Welfare Regimes (EWR) in Eastern Europe and second, we analyse how cross-sectoral social policies addressing the youth transitions are institutionally embedded and affect young people’s life. Methodologically we rely on conceptual framework for comparative analysis of policy interdependence (Gilardi in Engeli & Allison 2014). Education, health, social assistance and labour market are the policy areas we study by using legal regulations and statistics. The study is envisaged in two stages. First stage includes Estonia and Latvia, the second adds Bulgaria, Moldova and Turkey.