Course ObjectiveThis course is an introduction to labor economics with an emphasis on
applied microeconomic theory and empirical analysis. The aim of the
course is to acquaint students with traditional and contemporary topics
in labor economics. The following course objectives are defined:
• Demonstrating a theoretical understanding of how labor markets operate
(bridging theory and practice - knowledge).
• Understanding the recent developments of wage determination in
imperfectly competitive labor markets (bridging theory and practice -
• Understanding how technological change, competition and institutional
forces change shape
labor market performance (bridging theory and practice - knowledge).
• Being able to discuss critically existing empirical evidence (bridging
theory and practice - knowledge).
• Learning how to distinguish alternative theories empirically and how
key parameters are obtained from data (academic and research skills,
bridging theory and practice - application & broadening your horizon).
• Performing own empirical analysis by means of a replication exercise
(academic and research skills & bridging theory and practice -
• Understanding the crucial role of better data and a better match
between theory and empirics in finding pertinent answers to societal and
economic problems in contemporary labor markets (bridging theory and
practice - application & broadening your horizon).
Course ContentLabor economics is one of the oldest fields in the discipline of
economics. It is a vast theoretical and empirical field spanning
microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. The course covers a
systematic development of theories of wage determination over the past
decades. We focus on the two traditions of modelling wage determination
in imperfectly competitive labor markets: ex post wage bargaining and ex
ante wage posting. We study employment in a dynamic context, emphasizing
the role of search frictions. We focus on the evolution of wage
inequality and changes in the employment structure, taking into account
the role of the technological and competitive environment. These topics
are politically and economically important and underscore a lot of
modern labor economics.
Teaching MethodsLectures: 2 lectures per week
Workshops: 1 workshop per week
Method of AssessmentInterim assessment: Case/paper individual, Case/paper group and
Presentation. End of period: Open exam. Conditional on the exam grade
exceeding 5.0, assignments count for 40% of the final grade and the exam
for 60%. If the exam grade is lower than 5.0, the final grade is equal
to the exam grade.
LiteratureSelected main readings (papers) and chapters of the textbook "Cahuc P.,
Carcillo S. and A. Zylberberg. 2014. Labor Economics (2nd edition). MIT
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||School of Business and Economics|
|Course Coordinator||dr. S. Dobbelaere|
|Examiner||dr. S. Dobbelaere|
dr. S. Dobbelaere
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