Handbook of Behavioural Change and Public Policy
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Handbook of Behavioural Change and Public Policy

Edited by Holger Straßheim and Silke Beck

Behavioural change has become a core issue of public policy. Behavioural instruments such as ‘nudging’ apply insights from behavioural economics and behavioural sciences, psychology and neurosciences across a broad range of policy areas. Behavioural insights teams and networks facilitate the global spread of behavioural public policies. Despite an ever-growing amount of literature, research has remained fragmented. This comprehensive Handbook unites interdisciplinary scholarship, with contributions critically assessing the state and direction of behavioural public policies, their normative implications and political consequences.
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Chapter 18: Steering the behaviour of young people: the EU’s policy approach to promote employment

Jale Tosun and Felix Hörisch


We examine the intended behavioural changes inherent to policy instruments prescribed by the European Union (EU) to promote youth employment. We compare the perceptions of young adults in Germany on the issue of unemployment and their dispositions to change their behaviours to gain employment. We conduct a preliminary assessment of the fit between the policy instruments chosen and the perceptions of their target group. What are the main perceived barriers to entering and staying in employment? How well suited are the EU policy measures in overcoming these barriers? Our findings show that young Germans are willing to move within the country or to learn new skills, for example, however, not to move to a different country. While the policy measures adopted by German policy-makers also aim to increase the geographic mobility, it appears promising to explore policy instruments that are suitable to change the behaviour of young Germans accordingly.

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