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Dimitris Parsanoglou, Aggeliki Yfanti, Christer Hyggen and Lulu P. Shi

This chapter investigates the potential negative signalling effects of unemployment and participation in active labour market measures in Greece and Norway. A vignette experiment directed at recruiters and employers is applied. Our findings show that negative signalling effects of unemployment are more pronounced in countries where the macroeconomic context is positive and unemployment rates – including the youth unemployment rate – are low. What is also significant is that participation in active labour market policies is not perceived very positively in these cases. Our study shows that participating in ALMPs is perceived in a more positive way in a context of high unemployment, such as in Greece, whereas it might have a negative effect in a context where labour demand is high, such as in Norway. Our findings call for rethinking and, most importantly, contextualizing active labour market policies, taking into account national and sectorial specificities.

Open access

Christian Imdorf, Lulu P. Shi, Stefan Sacchi, Robin Samuel, Christer Hyggen, Rumiana Stoilova, Gabriela Yordanova, Pepka Boyadjieva, Petya Ilieva-Trichkova, Dimitris Parsanoglou and Aggeliki Yfanti

Episodes of unemployment or deskilling work can signal low ability to employers and impede individuals’ employment chances. In this chapter we analyse how the scarring effects of experiences of job insecurity vary across countries. We presented fictitious CVs integrated in an online survey to 1920 respondents recruiting for real jobs in five occupational fields in Bulgaria, Greece, Norway and Switzerland. Our findings show that unemployment scarring is strongest in Norway, followed by Switzerland, and is weaker in Bulgaria and Greece. Work experience in deskilling jobs as well as frequent changes of jobs (job-hopping) are also found to decrease applicants’ chances. We interpret our findings with regard to different national economies (youth unemployment), employment protection legislation and education systems, arguing that these country-specific settings shape recruiters’ perceptions of individuals’ precarious job experience, which in turn influences their hiring decisions.