Understanding NEETS. Individual and institutionaldeterminants of youth inactivity in France, Germany,Japan, the Netherlands, and the UK.


Background: Many countries have large numbers of young people Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEETs). These youth are believed to be a homogeneously vulnerable group, risking detrimental long-term socioeconomic marginalization. Costs are high and policy-makers repeatedly voice urgent concerns. Yet, existing NEET research has important limitations, as it ignores important heterogeneity in the patterns, causes and consequences of NEET
Questions: (1) What are the patterns of NEET? (2) What are the causes of NEET? To what extent can (a) individual characteristics, (b) countries’ institutions and policies, and (c) their interactions explain the probability that young people 15-29 make transitions into and out of NEET periods? (3) What are the consequences of NEET?
Theory: We integrate theories from sociology and labour economics to explain relations between individual and institutional characteristics and NEET
Data/methods: First, longitudinal country data are analysed to study individual and institutional effects on trajectories in and out of NEET. Quantitative methods and case studies are employed to understand NEET patterns, to assess effect heterogeneity between individuals and reveal underlying mechanisms of NEET risks. Second, cross-national analyses assess generalizability of findings
Relevance: The project contributes important insights to research on youth marginalisation and school-to-work transitions. A policy advisory board guarantees policy relevance of results


Scientific article

  • R.K.W. Van der Velden, A Dicks, M Levels(2018): Van school, en dan wat? Tijdschrift voor Arbeidsmarktvraagstukken pp. 416 - 431

Professional publication


Project number


Main applicant

Dr. M. Levels

Affiliated with

Maastricht University, School of Business and Economics (SBE), Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA)

Team members

A. Dicks MSc