The course "Labor Economics" is intended to provide students with analytical tools to understand how labor markets function and how this functioning is affected by the presence of labor market institutions.
After successful completion of the course, the students have the knowledge and skills to
1. explain how labor markets work and how labor market institutions affect labor market outcomes,
2. describe the trade-off between efficiency and equity in different labor market settings,
3. summarize the content of empirical research in labor economics, interpret the outcome, and
relate the outcome to a labor market theory,
4. analyze the economic structure of a specific national or international labor market setting
and identify applicable theories,
5. evaluate the effects of an existing policy on a specific national or international labor market
setting based on learned theories and existing empirical results and provide alternative labor
The course presents an overview of labor market theories supported by practical examples and statistics illustrating differences in institutions between countries.
Microeconomics 1,2, Mathematics 1,2, Statistics / Econometrics
13 Interactive lectures in English
Type of instructions
Type of exams
The final grade is based on 6 quiz assignments (15%), one essay assignment (15%) and a written final exam (70%). Each quiz, worth 3% of the grade, consists of multiple choice, short answer and/or open-ended questions to be completed online. The essay assignment consists of a policy paper of 1500 words and is worth 15% of the final course grade. The essay assignment may be done in a group of 2 students or individually. The final exam consists of a 3-hour closed book written exam. It consists of open-ended questions based on the lecture material, assignments and the course textbook. Students have to score 45% (grade 4.5) from the final exam to pass this course. If this criteria is fulfilled, the exam grade constitutes 70% of the final grade. If a student fails to score 45% (grade 4.5) from the final exam, then the student will fail and the final grade will consist 100% of the final exam grade.
Resit: The final exam can be retaken once in the academic year. Students have to score 45% (grade 4.5) to pass the resit, in which case the resit exam grade constitutes 70% of the final grade. The quiz assignments and essay assignment cannot be retaken during the year; the initial grade also contributes to the final grade for the resit (30%).
Repeaters: Students who are repeating the course from a previous year need to retake the entire course including the quiz and essay assignments and the written exam.
George Borjas. Labor Economics. 8th edition, McGraw Hill Education, 2020. ISBN: 978-1-260-56552-2.
Students can also use recent earlier editions of this book but are themselves responsible for sorting out any differences.