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25th annual workshop of the European Research Network on Transitions in Youth (TIY)



Network Committee:
Hans Dietrich, Cristina Iannelli, Irena Kogan, Luis Ortiz, Emer Smyth, Dieter Verhaest, Maarten Wolbers (chair)



SEPTEMBER, 13-16 2017


The 25th annual workshop of the European Research Network on Transitions in Youth (TIY) will take place in Brussels, Belgium on 13-16 September 2017. The workshop will be hosted by the Research Centre for Economics (ECON) of the Faculty of Economics and Business (Campus Brussels) of KU Leuven, in collaboration with the Policy Research Centre on Education (Steunpunt SONO).

The long-term goal of the TIY Network is to advance theoretical understanding of transitions in youth and especially of the relationships between education/training and the labour market. With its workshop, the Network brings together social scientists interested in the transitions of young people as they progress towards adulthood. In light of its 25th anniversary, the theme for this year’s workshop is:

25 Years of Transitions in Youth Research and Policy: Where Are We, Where Should We Go?

Over the past decades, researchers have documented a large range of individual and institutional factors influencing the transition from education to work and to other domains in life. Not only have these insights contributed to our theoretical understanding regarding this topic, they also have initiated many policy reforms aimed at improving the labour market outcomes and well-being of young people. Despite these advancements, however, many challenges remain both for research and for policy.

First, the established importance of factors such as educational and social background has been linked to a large range of underlying mechanisms such as human capital, signalling and screening, networks and social capital or discrimination. While more recent research, including studies based on experimental research methods or on detailed test-score data, has started to disentangle these different mechanisms, it largely remains a black box which of these channels matter most for which relationship and in which context. Research on these mechanisms is not only interesting from an academic point of view, but also for policy makers in order to implement more targeted and effective policies. Secondly, the increased availability of large-scale cross-country and longitudinal datasets has further increased the scope of research on transitions in youth. Not only do these datasets enable researchers to test the longitudinal effects of initial transitions and life events, they also allow them to assess the effectiveness of policies and institutions in a life-course perspective. Taking this approach, some recent papers in the realm of vocational education and training have already begun to challenge a number of established policy recommendations. Finally, even if policies were proven to be successful within a particular country at a particular point in time, the extent to which these findings can simply be translated to another context remains unclear. Their success may not only depend on the extent to which they are imbedded in the broader institutional and cultural setting, but also on the economic environment. Given structural changes on the labour market, for instance as a consequence of digitalisation and robotisation, the policies and institutions that were proven to be successful in the past need not be those that will be the most effective in the future. In addition, it remains an open question whether these policies and institutions are also suited to tackle a number of other new challenges, such as the labour market integration of young refugees.

For the 25th annual TIY workshop, the Network Committee invites authors to submit contributions concerning the area of youth transitions, with a particular attention to papers addressing one of these challenges. Specific topics that may be included are:

  • The mechanisms underlying the effect of individual and institutional characteristics on youth transitions and early labour market outcomes.
  • Life-long scarring effects of difficult labour market entries, graduating during recessions and other youth life events on long-term labour market outcomes, health and overall well-being.
  • The effects of educational decisions and institutions over the life course.
  • The implementation of changes in youth policies and institutions and their impact on youth transitions, labour market outcomes and overall well-being, with particular attention to how this impact differs depending on the institutional, cultural and economic context.
  • How structural labour market changes, such as polarisation, digitalisation, robotisation and globalisation, affect transition patterns and the effectiveness of school-to-work transition policies.
  • Transitions in youth of young refugees.


The Network Committee does not regard these suggested themes as a complete, let alone exclusive list. On the contrary, the committee welcomes contributions on all aspects of the transition from youth to adulthood. The committee also encourages researchers to submit conceptual contributions and papers conducting meta-analyses and other systematic review methods.

Anyone who wishes to present a paper at the workshop should send a one-page abstract by email to the address indicated below by 24 March, 2017. In keeping with our usual procedures, abstracts will be assessed for selection by the members of the Network Committee on the basis of their quality and relevance to the theme of the workshop. Authors will be notified of the decision regarding their paper by 30 April, 2017 at the latest.

The conference fee is set at € 650 and includes four nights of accommodation (single room), lunches and social events (including conference dinner). Since only a limited number of places will be available, anyone who wishes to attend the conference without presenting a paper should notify the conference organisers as soon as possible. In order to ensure the smooth running of the workshop, participants should register and pay the conference fee before 20 June, 2017 to be guaranteed accommodation organized by the workshop staff.

For papers to be made available in advance to workshop participants, final (electronic) versions should reach the local organisers at the very latest by 25 August, 2017.