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School-to-Work Transitions and Related Public Policies : Evidence from Field Experiments in France

Abstract : This thesis focuses on school-to-work transitions and related labor market policies designed to smooth these transitions, especially for young people in difficulty. Based on field experiments carried out in France in 2018 and 2019, it comprises three chapters that add new empirical evidence to the economic literature.The first chapter brings new evidence on the higher employment rate of apprentices than vocational students after graduation. It shows that the success of apprenticeship does not rely, in the French context, on better job access to those who do not remain in their training firms. The expansion of apprenticeship thus has very limited effects on youth unemployment if this is not accompanied by an increase in the retention of apprentices in their training firm.The second chapter contributes to the understanding of employers’ preferences regarding young school dropout applicants. It shows that school dropouts who have remained inactive over two years have a significantly smaller chance of being called back for a job compared to non-dropout high school graduates. Subsidized employment and vocational training boost dropouts’ chances, but their chances remain still lower. Only the combination of the two policies lets young dropouts to catch up with their non-dropout peers. Manipulation of the profiles indicates that both dropping out of school and inactivity duration entails negative signals for the employers.The third chapter presents a field experiment designed to analyze the effectiveness of text messaging by public assistance agencies seeking to enroll young people who are not in employment, education, or training (NEET). All texts were individualized and included specific information about the agencies. Results indicate that the texts had no significant effect on the probability of going to those agencies. These findings show that sending texts to this population is not an effective strategy for enrolling it more easily.The main argument of the thesis thus advocates closing gaps between schools and firms, so that a significant proportion of young people may avoid a non-employment situation as their first experience in the labor market.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 5:32:08 PM
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Jérémy H. Hervelin. School-to-Work Transitions and Related Public Policies : Evidence from Field Experiments in France. Economics and Finance. Institut Polytechnique de Paris, 2020. English. ⟨NNT : 2020IPPAG010⟩. ⟨tel-03100709⟩

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