Labour Economics

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Guy Michaels 32L2.10

Dr Pawel Bukowski 32L 2.01


This course is available on the BSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, BSc in Economics, BSc in Economics and Economic History, BSc in International Social and Public Policy and Economics, BSc in Philosophy and Economics and BSc in Social Policy and Economics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


Students should have completed Microeconomic Principles I (EC201) or Microeconomic Principles II (EC202) or equivalent and Introduction to Econometrics (EC220) or equivalent.

Course content

This course is an introduction to the economic analysis of behaviour and institutions in the labour market. Primarily microeconomic models are applied to labour market phenomena, such as labour supply and participation, labour demand by firms, and wage determination under different institutional settings. Students learn how to distinguish alternative theories empirically using real world data. The course explores how models and empirical analysis can be applied to evaluate labour market policies, such as the minimum wage, welfare programmes, and immigration restrictions. We will also examine labour market inequality and the role of technological change. The goal of the course is to enable students to think independently about labour market issues, drawing on the models and tools developed during the course.


15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT.

Formative coursework

Problems sets in the course involve hands-on statistical analysis of real world data.

Indicative reading

G Borjas, Labor Economics. Additional reading, drawn from journals, will be suggested during the course.


Exam (85%, duration: 3 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.
Class participation (15%) in the MT and LT.

Key facts

Department: Economics

Total students 2018/19: 70

Average class size 2018/19: 18

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills