Not available in 2020/21
EU477      Half Unit
Labour Markets and the Political Economy of Employment in Europe

This information is for the 2020/21 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 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

  • 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 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).

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2019/20: 15

Average class size 2019/20: 13

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

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