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Unit information: Labour Economics in 2016/17

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Unit name Labour Economics
Unit code EFIMM0041
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Bergemann
Open unit status Not open

ECONM1010 Microeconomics;

ECONM1022 Econometrics



School/department School of Economics
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit aims to teach the core topics in labour economic. Topics will include labor supply, labor demand, job search and human capital. Particular emphasis is on the interaction of theoretical and empirical modelling and its relevance for economic policy. A major goal is to provide students with the necessary tools that help to analyse the labour market consequences of government interventions, such as minimum wages, social security, taxes etc. Recent results of the relevant empirical literature will also be discussed and critically assessed.

Intended learning outcomes

This unit provides a thorough and in-depth treatment of the core topics in labour economics. Basic concepts in labour economics are introduced with particular emphasis on the interaction of theoretical and empirical modelling. The students will be equipped with the knowledge to critically assess empirical finding of labour market interactions and the evaluation of policy interventions.

The students in the course will learn to understand and critically discuss current research papers and reports in the area of labour economics. They will be able to start independent research projects at basic levels.

Teaching details

There will be lectures and exercise lectures. Coursework will consist of regular exercises which will be used for formative assessment.

Lectures will introduce and explain the core topics in labour economics: typically a topic is introduced by presenting stylized facts, introducing a theoretical model, explaining challenges when using the theoretical relationships for empirical modelling, discussing policy implications of the theoretical and empirical finding.

Exercise classes will provide the opportunity to apply the new knowledge by analysing current policy, for example on the basis of recent newspaper articles, as well as practice own empirical analysis with the aid of statistical software.

  • 16 hours lectures
  • 8 hours exercise classes
  • 2.5 hours final exam
  • 123.5 hours individual study

Assessment Details

Summative assessment:

2.5-hour written exam. The exam will test the knowledge of theoretical models, understanding and critical evaluation of empirical results concerning basic labour market relationships and policy interventions.

Formative assessment:

Exercises, class participation and discussion in classes. These will provide further opportunities for feedback on the students’ progress.

Reading and References

Reading list will be mainly based on articles. Some background reading includes:

  • P. Cahuc, S. Carcillo & A. Zylberberg (2014), Labor Economics, (Second Ed.), MIT-Press
  • G. Borjas (2015), Labor Economics, (Seventh Ed.)
  • G. Ehrenberg and S. Smith (2014) Modern Labor Economics, (Twelfth Ed.) Pearson