PhD Student from ETH Zurich: Youth in the Informal Labor Market in Benin

On Friday, April 13th Bart Kudrzycki joined ASE as the latest Academic Seminar presenter. Mr. Kudrzycki holds a Master’s degree in economics and is a current first year PhD student at ETH Zürich in the Center for Development and Cooperation (NADEL).

The so-called “youth bulge” in Africa and the long school-to-work transition motivate Mr. Kudrzycki’s research interests. He proposes to study youth working in the informal sector in Benin, which has been inadequately researched in spite of its economic centrality.

The first paper of his three-part dissertation will consider how researchers can measure the experiences of youth in informal labor markets. The second paper will examine the dual system of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Benin, specifically looking at the “Swiss” model of concurrent apprenticeship and studies. Mr. Kudrzycki’s final research question is about why informal businesses train and provide apprenticeships to young people.

ASE students enjoyed discussing these proposed topics during the Q&A. In particular, they responded to Mr. Kudrzycki’s proposed cell phone survey by sharing their relevant experience and commenting on the potential and limitations of such surveys in terms of data reliability and respondents’ consent.