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

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis CBG 5.05


This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MSc in European and International Public Policy, MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management), MSc in Local Economic Development, MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Science and Political Economy, MSc in The Global Political Economy of China and Europe (LSE and Fudan) and MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). 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 other pieces of coursework in the LT and 1 presentation 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


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Project (50%, 4000 words) in the period between LT and ST.

One group project (50% of the final mark; approx. 4,000 words, excluding tables and appendices), due after the LT, and a two-hour exam in the ST (50% of the final mark, comprising one essay question and five short-answer questions).

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills