BSc Economics / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Topics in Labour Economics

Course unit fact file
Unit code ECON32242
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Econometrics ECON20110 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Principles of Microeconomic Theory 2: Markets, Prices and Strategy ECON10172 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Microeconomics 2 ECON10232 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Quantitative Methods ECON20222 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Microeconomics 2 ECON20232 Pre-Requisite Compulsory

(ECON20110 Econometrics or ECON20222 Quantitative Economics) AND (ECON10232 Microeconomics 2 or ECON20232 Microeconomics 2 or ECON10172 Principles of Microeconomic Theory 2)


The course aims to: 

  1. Introduce students to imperfect labour markets and policies aimed at addressing the respective imperfections
  2. Understand and apply key econometric and statistical methods to empirically study (imperfect) labour markets and policies
  3. Develop critical analysis skills to evaluate (labour market) policies and economic studies
  4. Develop the employability skill of describing and discussing labour market policies to a broader audience


The course covers “Imperfect Labour Markets” and polices aimed at addressing it:
1.    Introduction to imperfect labour markets 
2.    Minimum wages 
3.    Anti-discrimination  
4.    Gender Pay Gap 
5.    Family Policies  
6.    Education  
7.    Unemployment insurance and active labour market policies 
8.    If time permits: Pension, Retirement 

Teaching and learning methods

New content will be delivered to students asynchronously (reading) as well as synchronously through lectures. The virtual learning environment (VLE) will clearly guide students through the different sources of content.

Students' learning will be supported by offering regular tutorials in smaller groups. In these tutorials students will be given the opportunity to work on problems, discuss applied cases and policy problems with their peers and teaching staff as well as practice their presentation skills.

Tutorials are an important source of formative feedback for students as they will be able to assess their state of understanding of the material through engagement in tutorials. In addition, students will be able to use a discussion board in which they can test their understanding as well as ask questions to their peers and the teaching staff. In addition to these formative feedback opportunities, the in-term assessments (see below) will provide summative and formative feedback to students.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Understand how economic research can inform the discussion on labour market policies
  • Understand the (econometric) methods to evaluate labour market policies
  • Evaluate current policies and research 
  • Be able to independently read current empirical research in Labour Economics as well as communicating it to a non-economist audience

Intellectual skills

  • Critically evaluate applied work and policies in the fields of Labour Economics
  • Understand advantages and limitations of each econometric method and their applications in Labour Economics.

Practical skills

  • Independently identify and assess relevant literature
  • Identify suitable econometric technique(s) relevant to research questions in the fields of Labour Economics.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Concisely summarise empirical results and compile research reports.
  • Be able to evaluate the design of policies by drawing on the discussions and methods introduced in this module
  • Present research, empirical results, and policy evaluations

Assessment methods

Coursework (30%)

Exam (70%)

Recommended reading

Primary readings for the course are the following: 

Boeri and Van Ours, “The Economics of Imperfect Labor Markets”, Third Edition, Princeton University Press

Additional readings on specialised topics and empirical case studies are made available each week via the online learning platform. 

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sebastian Seitz Unit coordinator

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