EU477      Half Unit
Labour Markets and the Political Economy of Employment in Europe

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis COW.2.05


This course is available on the MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Columbia), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in EU Politics, MSc in EU Politics (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in European Studies (Research), MSc in European Studies: Ideas, Ideologies and Identities, MSc in European Studies: Ideas, Ideologies and Identities (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po) and Master of Public Administration. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


A solid background in economics and knowledge of some basic calculus is required. Attendance of EU409 ‘Basic Economic Concepts for Political Economy’ is highly recommended irrespective of background.

Course content

The course offers an analytical treatment of key labour market issues, from unemployment and wage determination to skill formation and labour market regulation, within the context of processes of integration and governance in Europe. To do so, it combines a Labour Economics perspective on imperfect labour markets with a Political Economy perspective on EU institutions and policies. In the lectures, we address analytically policy-making questions on topics such as minimum wages, unions and collective bargaining, unemployment benefits, employment protection legislation, regulation of working hours, migration, and others. These topics are then linked in the seminars to the European policy-making context, and the challenges that this raises for labour market regulation and performance at the national and European levels. Examples of this include: EMU, optimum currency area theory, wage flexibility and internal devaluation; structural unemployment, labour market reforms, the European Employment Strategy and flexicurity; skills shortages, activation policies, European education policy and labour mobility; and others.


10 hours of lectures, 15 hours of seminars and 2 hours of workshops in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the ST.

The course will have 10 1-hour lectures and 1.5-hour seminars in weeks 1-5 and 7-11. In week 6 students will make poster presentations on a preliminary draft of their group essay. 

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 6 problem sets and 2 presentations in the LT and 1 project in the Week 6.

Formative assessment comprises a weekly set of problem sets / exercises; brief oral presentations on pre-allocated readings in the seminars; a poster presentation on a group project during the week-6 workshop; and submission of a draft / extended outline of the group project (following the poster presentation).

Indicative reading

  • Boeri, Tito, and Jan Van Ours. The economics of imperfect labor markets. Princeton University Press, 2013.
  • Ashiagbor, Diamond. The European Employment Strategy: Labour Market Regulation and New Governance, Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • Esping-Andersen, Gøsta, and Marino Regini, eds. Why deregulate labour markets?. Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • Schmid, Günther, and Bernard Gazier, eds. The dynamics of full employment: Social integration through transitional labour markets. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2002.
  • Boeri, T., Castanheira, M., Faini, R. and Galasso, V. (eds.), Structural reforms without Prejudices, Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Caroleo, Floro Ernesto, and Sergio Destefanis. The European Labour Market. Physica-Verlag Heidelberg, 2006.
  • Nowotny, Ewald, and Peter Mooslechner, eds. The integration of European labour markets. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009.
  • Rogowski, Ralf, ed. The European social model and transitional labour markets: law and policy. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2008.
  • Hancké, Bob. Unions, central banks, and EMU: labour market institutions and monetary integration in Europe. Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • Layard, Richard, Stephen Nickell, and Richard Jackman. Unemployment: macroeconomic performance and the labour market. Oxford University Press, 2005.


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Project (50%, 4000 words) in the Week 11.

Summative assessment comprises a group project (50% of the final mark; approx. 4,000 words, excluding tables and appendices), due on week 11 of the term, and a two-hour exam in June (50% of the final mark, comprising one essay question and five short-answer questions).

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills