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The ‘great escape’ from Italian Universities: Do labour market recruitment channels matter?

Emanuela Ghignoni ()

QUADERNI DI ECONOMIA DEL LAVORO, 2016, vol. 2016/106, issue 106, 49-75

Abstract: This paper deals with the role that an extensive use at local level of informal networks to match workers to jobs can play in the university enrolments decisions of low socioeconomic status students in Italy. By applying probit model techniques to ISTAT microdata, I find that upper-secondary students coming from lower social classes are less likely to participate in higher education when they live in provinces in which the percentage of individuals who found their job thanks to the help of friends, relatives and acquaintances is higher. My results are consistent with the hypothesis that the wide diffusion of ‘favoritism’ in local labour markets engenders a sense of ‘economic despair’ among those who are poorly connected, thereby damaging individual human capital accumulation, inequality of access to higher education and local socio-economic development.

Date: 2016
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