Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Joshua Hendrickson

Relational Format



The purpose of this thesis is to exam the causes behind unusually high youth unemployment in Spain, even after the 2007-8 financial crisis has subsided. The primary means of investigating these causes is through constructing a set of empirical models and then using these models to perform several time-series regressions to find whether changes in educational patterns, demographics, and immigration have had any concrete effect on the youth unemployment rate and social capital. Some qualitative work is done; particularly in describing the legal structure surrounding unemployment and in the description of the Spanish welfare state. In my research, I find that a change in educational patterns does not deeply impact youth unemployment, nor do demographic shifts. The collapse of the Spanish economy (in particular the housing market) has had a far more determinative effect than any of these factors named. Levels of immigration do bear a positive relationship with youth unemployment, but only for a period, and have no measurable effect on social capital and may in fact aid social cohesion to a small degree, given enough time. In conclusion, the causes of high Spanish youth unemployment are not being dealt with well by the present government and further research into this area (particularly in to the effects of reforms undertaken in 2010 and 2012) is warranted before any policy prescriptions are formulated.


A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the Croft Institute for International Studies and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

Included in

Economics Commons



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