Nº 156 (March, 2014). Evelyn Vezza

“Escaneo de políticas y meta-análisis: juventud y políticas de empleo en América Latina”.

Youth employment initiatives have become protagonists in the policy space, as the adverse outcomes faced by youth in the labour market remain persistent. The main aims of this document are to identify the recent patterns associated to these youth initiatives in the region and to identify lessons that can be learnt from them. In order to achieve these purposes, it updates and systematizes 65 initiatives that have been implemented in 18 Latin American countries from 2008 up to date, and reviews the findings of 12 initiatives with impact evaluations that have been published during this period. Despite the active labour market programmes have appeared as the more recurrent response in the set of initiatives to handle the youth employment problems, labour market regulations have been more frequent to address labour demand barriers for youth recently. Supply-oriented initiatives account for the highest share of interventions, and most countries have developed initiatives to fostering youth entrepreneurship. The programmes in place in many countries are the result of combining earlier with newer initiatives. Although rigorous evidence is still scarce, some learning potential lies on the common features between the impact evaluations that took place during 2008-13 in the region and the worldwide reviews. The programmes effectiveness on labour market outcomes seem to be more correlated to targeting and how the intervention is delivered than to the type of intervention. Comprehensive initiatives that combine different interventions also work better than programmes that rely on a single component. However, the main lesson learned in international experience is that interventions effects depend mostly on country-specific variables and therefore further research efforts are needed in assessing the interventions in their own specific country contexts.

This paper is one of the background papers of the project “Labour markets for inclusive growth” developed by the Centro de Estudios Distributivos Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) and supported by the International Development Research Center (Canada) to be presented in the Workshop “Youth and Employment Regional Consultation” in Rio de Janeiro, from 5th to 6th December 2013.