ECO-30032 - Labour Economics
Coordinator: Panos Sousounis Tel: +44 1782 7 33623
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733094

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

This module is designed to provide students with an understanding of the significance of the labour market and labour market policy. The module will consider the factors that underlie the demand for labour by firms and the supply of labour by households and individuals; the module will subsequently examine issues like labour discrimination, training, efficiency wages and unemployment.

The module aims to provide the theoretical tools to allow a thorough understanding of the factors in the labour market that influence wages, employment, unemployment, educational choices and work incentives and to consider the empirical evidence for these relationships. Throughout, an understanding of how these outcomes can be affected by economic policy will be developed.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Explain why individuals decide to enter the labour market and evaluate decisions in relation to hours of work, attachment to the labour market, and the allocation of time over the lifecycle: 1,2
Explicate the foundations of firms' decisions to hire or fire workers and the effects of exogenous variables on this decision: 1,2
Compare and evaluate the differences between workers brought about by human capital, unions, discrimination and the differences between jobs (some are pleasant, some are not)
: 1,2
Apply economic theory to show the effects of different types of policy on labour supply/demand: 1,2
Critically analyse the effect of unions on wages, productivity and unemployment, and explain what governs union activity: 1,2
Explain the investment decision of individuals on human and social capital: 1,2

Study hours

20 hours lectures
10 hours classes
20 hours class preparation
50 hours coursework preparation
50 hours independent study

School Rules

ECO-10028 or equivalent; ECO-20042 or equivalent.

Description of Module Assessment

1: Assignment weighted 40%
A commentary on a published article/report
Provide a 1000-word commentary on a published peer-reviewed research article or an article appearing on mainstream, reputable Press media or a government report/paper on a topic of interest to labour economics. The article would not have previously been discussed in class and students will be asked to comment on various aspects of it ranging from relevance of the research question/hypothesis, to methodological approach(es), to the significance of the findings to society and economic policy.

2: Unseen Exam weighted 60%
2 hour unseen examination
Unseen exam, mixture of short answer and numerical questions.