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Unit information: Labour Economics in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Labour Economics
Unit code ECON30075
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Turon
Open unit status Not open

Intermediate Economics 1 (EFIM20008) and either Econometrics (EFIM20011) or Applied Quantitative Research Methods (EFIM20010)



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


Please note there are two Unit Directors for this unit: Dr Helene Turon and Dr Gregory Jolivet.

The subject matter of labour economics is very broad and covers many of the economic topics that are of concern in modern economies. This unit applies the principles and techniques of economics that students have learned over the previous two years to the economics of the labour market. An applied course like labour economics allows these principles to be put into practice in the context of live policy debates.

In the first part of the course we will first study labour demand, including dynamic models and the role of labour market policies (for instance employment protection legislation).

Then we turn to labour supply, modelling individuals' and households' decisions on paid work, home work and leisure.

Lastly, we explore the reasons for wage dispersion and the measurement of wage inequality.

Intended learning outcomes

Under each of the areas listed above, students should be familiar with the concepts involved and how to apply economic reasoning to the problems. At the end of the unit students will be able to:

Apply economic reasoning to problems in labour economics in areas such as:

  • labour demand, including dynamic models and the role of employment protection legislation;
  • labour supply, modeling individuals and households decisions on paid work, home work and leisure;
  • wage dispersion and the measurement of wage inequality;
  • decisions relating to human capital acquisition
  • wage returns to education

Students should also be able to discuss and evaluate empirical evidence in the areas given above.

Teaching details

18 lectures

2 x 2-hour assignment lectures

6 classes

Assessment Details

  • Summative assessment: Three-hour closed book examination in January
  • Formative assessment: 2 assignment lectures

These assessments will test all learning outcomes.

Reading and References

  • Modern Labor Economics: Theory and Public Policy by Ronald Ehrenberg and Robert Smith. Pearson, Addison-Wesley.
  • Labor Economics, by George Borjas. McGraw-Hill.