The 2019 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group will be held from 11-14 June 2019, in Malabo, Republic of Equatorial Guinea. Find out more

Working Paper 171 - Youth Unemployment and Political Instability in Selected Developing Countries

Publishing Date 14/06/2013 11:13

Categories: Human Capital Development, Youth, Employment

Download File (1.21 MB)

Working Paper 171 - Youth Unemployment and Political Instability in Selected Developing Countries (1.21 MB)

Description Across the globe, the recent financial and economic crisis has led to soaring youth unemployment. In Africa for instance, youth unemployment is exacerbated by the additional challenges of a youth population which is considerably higher than other regions, narrow national labour markets and persistently high levels of poverty. More recently, the North Africa region, which has the world’s highest youth unemployment rates and where one in four young people is reported as jobless, experienced violent social uprisings in which young people played a critical role. Numerous studies suggested that large rate of youth unemployment destabilizes countries  thus making them more susceptible to armed conflict (Urdal, 2006, 2012). This is broadly consistent with an increasing body of literature on the causes of political instability and conflicts, such as Collier and Hoeffler (2002) or Miguel et al (2004) to name a few. Taking advantage of this literature, this paper investigates the effect of youth unemployment on the political instability in selected developing countries. Using data from 1980 to 2010 from 24 developing countries in five regions (Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia), this paper shows that political instability occurs particularly in countries where youth unemployment, as well as social inequalities and corruption are high. The results suggest that youth unemployment rate is positively and significantly associated with the measure of political instability. Specifically, doubling the unemployment rate induces an increase of the risk of political instability with a magnitude ranging between 1.06% and 1.4% depending ono the specification. These results add to a broad literature that stresses the importance of economic conditions as the most critical factors guaranteeing political stability in developing countries. This paper has a clear policy implication. In order to avoid instability and violence, focus should be on monitoring economic opportunities for young people, and particularly on providing employment or educational opportunities for youth in periods of economic decline. Creating viable jobs for young people is a precondition for sustainable development and peace in all countries; and particularly in countries which have already experienced violent conflict. However, we do recognize that political instability is a more complex phenomenon which may owe also to geo-political factors which have not been taken into account in this paper.

Download File (1.21 MB)

Working Paper 171 - Youth Unemployment and Political Instability in Selected Developing Countries (1.21 MB)

You are currently offline. Some pages or content may fail to load.