Recommended PrerequisitesActive knowledge about the fundamentals of labour economics at an intermediate level, i.e. at the level of: George J. Borjas (2005) Labor Economics, third edition, New York, McGraw-Hill (textbook that serves as an indication for the starting points for the seminar discussions).
Labour economics provides an economic perspective on labour market issues such as unemployment, labour market segmentation, discouraged workers, human capital formation, retirement behaviour, and welfare state (dis-) incentives to perform paid work. The perspective can be theoretical or empirical, ideally both. The objective of this course is to establish the link between the economic perspective and real-life policy problems. There is a vast international literature on labour market issues. The translation of the insights from this literature to the daily reality is not always an easy job. In this course, students will be trained on how to make optimal use of insights from the economic literature on real-life problems. Students will be trained to work with micro-data and derive policy insights from their analyses. The course starts off with a condensed overview of the labour market literature, after which it will focus on a selection of labour market issues.
The course has 18 lectures of 90 minutes in total, of which
- 11 lectures (of which 4 guest lectures)
- 5 lectures with short presentations and discussions based on students’ analysis of data sets that they are provided with (3 assignments per student in total)
- 2 lectures with discussions based on the essays
The course will end with a final exam. 30% of the final mark will be determined by the assignments, 30% by the essay, and 40% by the final exam.
The assignments will be made available through Blackboard. Each group of students (2-3 persons) will prepare a short memorandum (3-4 pp.) and a short presentation based on their analysis of a policy problem. Data will be made available to analyse the problem. The presentations are followed by a plenary discussion.
The essay will be written individually. Students may either choose their own topic or from a list. The course will be closed off with plenary discussions centred around the conclusions from the essays. These discussions will be clustered around a number of themes. The most important conclusions from these discussions will be relevant for the written exam.