Social capital and residential setting among youth at risk of labour market exclusion. A case study – CAPENRISG

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge job destruction that has most severely affected the young Spanish population. Although the latest data from the EPA show a return to pre-pandemic levels of unemployment rates, it is still a long way from the rates prior to 2008 Great Recession. Therefore, the young people are facing a particularly difficult context to access employment over the last 15 years, being those people with the lowest level of education who have been hit the hardest by unemployment.

The theory of social exclusion caused by unemployment (Gallie and Paugam) argues that prolonged periods of unemployment reduce sociability, which in turn causes a loss of relevant contacts for the return to employment, thus reinforcing the risk of labour market
exclusion. The last years marked by the difficulties of labour market insertion among the young population and, especially, the recent destruction of employment caused by the Covid-19 epidemic, offer a very adequate context for the retrospective study of the
aforementioned relationship. On the other hand, the concept of social capital and the methodological approach of social network analysis allow the development of a good operationalization of the Gallie and Paugam model, although these authors have not conceived it in these
In this context, the main objective of the research is to verify whether, for young unemployed people, there has been a negative feedback effect (vicious circle) between the fact of suffering prolonged unemployment and the loss of social capital useful for labour market insertion.
The mechanism that would be at the basis of this possible relationship would be that the loss of employment leads to a fracturing of people’s social ties with people with more distinct social characteristics (heterophilic contacts) and of higher status, which would be precisely the people who could transmit to unemployed people information on a greater number of job opportunities.

Start date: 01/09/2022
Finish date: 31/08/2025
Financing: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Reference: PID2021-125218NB-I00
Responsable researcher: Joan Miquel Verd & Oriol Barranco
Team: Pilar Carrsquer Oto, Mireia Bolíbar Planas,  Segundo Moyano (UOC),  Sergi Fàbregues (UOC)
Joan Rodríguez Soler, Alejandro González Heras

Project website:


Eixarch, Adriana; Verd, Joan Miquel & Barranco, Oriol (2024). El proceso de muestreo en el proyecto “Capital social y entorno residencial en la población joven con riesgo de exclusión laboral. Un estudio de casos.” QUIT Working paper series, n. 30.

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