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Businessweek Archives

French Riots and Unemployment


? Hurricane Again |

Main

| Whither the Euro? ?

November 07, 2005

French Riots and Unemployment

Michael Mandel

Could the riots in France spell the beginning of the end of the European economic model?

See here for more.

Here's a comparison of youth unemployment rates in different countries(via Eurostat).

04:59 PM

Labor Market

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Even the US is at a level that is a bit higher than we should be comfortable with. Even if it was over 10% during the late-90s boom, that is high.

Going back to the savings vs. consumption argument, if a college education provides much higher employment prospects to people aged 22-25, then unemployment of this group goes down, and thus crime goes down, which means expenditures on law enforcement, auto insurance, emergency rooms, legal system costs, etc. all go down.

Plus, employed young people pay into Social Security, but they can't if they don't make money.

So education is an investment that saves money elsewhere, throughout society. It is not consumption.

Posted by: Kartik at November 7, 2005 07:25 PM

You're begging the question. With only this chart, why aren't there riots in Greece and free espresso shots at midnight in Ireland?

Posted by: mike at November 8, 2005 02:17 AM

I don't know about Greece, but this chart does suggest that Belgium, Italy, and Spain are at great risk. Conversely, Germany may be relatively safe.

Posted by: Mike Mandel at November 8, 2005 09:08 AM

France has made greater investments in education than we. It is free there. The statistics are somewhat distorted due to classification differences. The US ones are biased low due to not counting anyone they can possibly get away with. The US does have considerable opportunity for immigrants, just look at all those farm workers. France - if you don't like it, leave.

Posted by: Lord at November 9, 2005 01:46 PM


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