Labour Economics

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Alan Manning 32L.2.36 and Ms Filipa Sa


This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MSc in Economics and MSc in Economics (2 Year Programme). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Students must have completed Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics (EC400).

In exceptional circumstances, students may take this course without EC400 provided they meet the necessary requirements and have received approval from the course conveners (via a face to face meeting), the MSc Economics Programme Director and their own Programme Director. Contact the Department of Economics for more information ( regarding entry to this course.

Course content

An advanced course in labour economics issues, including theory, evidence and policy. The aim of the course is to familiarise students with main theoretical and empirical issues in current labour economics, and to provide them with the tools for developing independent research interests. The course has a strong applied focus. For each major topic covered we will derive testable implications, provide insights into the research methodology, discuss the advantages and limitations of existing empirical work, and draw policy conclusions. Topics include: labour supply, labour demand, market power of firms and workers, wage determination, unemployment, minimum wage, compensating differentials, human capital and returns to schooling, discrimination, the changing distribution of earnings and the future of work, and immigration.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Two marked assignments per term.

Indicative reading

Most of the reading is from journal articles. A detailed reading list is available on Moodle.


Exam (25%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the LT week 0.
Exam (25%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the main exam period.
Essay (50%, 6000 words) in the ST.

The Lent Term Week 0 examination is based on the Michaelmas Term syllabus, and the Summer Term examination is based on the Lent Term syllabus.

Key facts

Department: Economics

Total students 2016/17: 12

Average class size 2016/17: 15

Controlled access 2016/17: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information