The paper deals with transitions into and out of the labour market made by young and young adults (15-34 years old) in four European countries (Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom), each of them characterized by a different institutional context: a different welfare model, a specific employment regime and a different educational system. The paper is based on EU-SILC longitudinal data, analyzed using event history analysis techniques. The time range considered is 2006-2011, divided in a first period (2006-08) considered as a pre-crisis period and a second one (2009-11) characterized by the early stages of the crisis. Results show a disadvantage for those entering the labour market with a temporary contract, a common evidence for all the countries analyzed. Besides, a higher educational title reduces the risk of negative transitions, although with different intensity in the countries analyzed, while gender differences widely vary from country to country. The institutional conditions specific to the country affect the shape of transitions, showing a pronounced disadvantage for the South-European model typical of Italy and, although a little less marked, for the United Kingdom. Finally, a deterioration of opportunities as a consequence of worsened economic conditions is observable only for some of the transitions considered.
Keywords: Youth, institutional context, life course, occupational transitions, NEET