The economic inertia in youth (NEETs): what are the future health and other implications and what lessons can be learnt from the past

Wei Xun, Nicola Shelton and Stephen Jivraj, UCL

(Project no. 0301616, previously 30161)

Using data from the ONS LS, I plan to explore the complex relationship between the phenomenon of youth non-participation in the labour force, education or training and its predictors, and its effect on the future prospects of these young people in terms of economic and health outcomes. This will form the basis of a PhD at University College London.

Firstly, I will investigate which socioeconomic and contextual factors are associated with a young person’s risk of being a NEET at each census. This will be mainly conducted cross-sectionally for each census time point, although intergenerational effect at the household/parental level (especially for the under 18yrs) will also be explored.

Then I will investigate how periods of being a NEET can affect a young person’s future: a) career, ie does being a NEET in one census affect their risk of being found not participating in the labour force 10, 20, 30 or 40 years later, and how their socio-economic position compares with their counterparts from the same generation, is there a “long shadow” of negative effect and how these can be affected by the macro-economic climate (eg the two recessions since 1970s).

b) health; it has been known that the presence of long-term illnesses is strongly associated with decreased participation in the labour market for working-age adults, through selection processes into unemployment, as well as out of jobs. The data in the LS enables the investigation into which of these processes are more influential for unemployed youths where the majority are expected to be comparatively healthy compared to the general work force due to their age. Since self-reported health can also be indicative of future mortality outcomes, I will extend the investigation of the relationship between being a NEET and the outcome of all-causes and cause-specific mortality using the death data recorded in the LS. I would also be interested in incorporating any other health data if linkages will be made in the future (eg NHS healthcare usage data).

Lastly, I plan to bring together the two previous of research, with an a priori hypothesis that social/economic disadvantages accumulate from early youth (ie being NEET) through to adulthood, which in turn, influences one’s future health (especially in terms of mortality).  I plan to use life-course and multivariate/pathway approaches such as SEM which are suited in investigating long-term and complex nature of the processes at work. 

Page last modified on 01 nov 16 11:40 by Joanne Tomlinson