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Unit information: Labour Economics in 2015/16

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Unit name Labour Economics
Unit code ECON30075
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Turon
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

Intermediate Microeconomics ECON21133

Co-requisites

None

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

Description

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 study labour demand, including dynamic models and the role of employment protection legislation; then we turn to labour supply, modeling individuals and households decisions on paid work, home work and leisure. The second part explores the reasons for wage dispersion and the measurement of wage inequality; then analyses the decision to acquire human capital and introduces evaluation methods of estimation of the wage returns to education.

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

16 lectures, 8 tutorials, 4 2-hour assignment lectures, 1-2 revision lectures.

Assessment Details

  • Summative assessment: Three-hour closed book examination in May/June.
  • Formative assessment: 4 assignment lectures (one on each of the 4 topics), 1 presentation in tutorial group.

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.

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