Not available in 2023/24
EU477      Half Unit
Labour Markets and the Political Economy of Employment in Europe

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis CBG 5.05


This course is available on the 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/CIPD), MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Fudan) , MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Science and Political Economy 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, work-time subsidies (furlough), migration, and others. These topics are then linked in the seminars to the European policy-making context. Examples 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; crises (COVID), short-time work schemes and activation policies; and others.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars totalling a minimum of 25 hours across Michaelmas Term. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.  A Help Session focusing on the student's summative essay will also be offered in the form of extended office hours in the second part of the Michaelmas Term.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 5 problem sets, 2 other pieces of coursework and 1 other piece of coursework in the AT.

Formative assessment comprises a weekly set of problem sets / exercises; brief oral presentations on pre-allocated readings in the seminars; submission of a draft / extended outline of the summative project, which students will develop with the teacher late in Michaelmas term.

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.


Project (100%, 5000 words) in the WT.

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2022/23: 24

Average class size 2022/23: 12

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

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Personal development skills

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