Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Labour Economics, Policy and Regulation

Course summary

Course code: ECON1119
Level: 6
Credits: 30
School: Business Faculty
Department: International Bus and Economics
Course Coordinator(s): Ozlem Onaran

Specification

Pre and co requisites

None.

Aims

This course introduces competing theories and policy debates in labour economics in a globalized
economy in a comparative and pluralistic fashion based on real world applications. This course will
enable the students to
 understand, analyze and critically evaluate the causes of urgent social and economic problems of
our time such as unemployment, inequality among economic classes, ethnic groups and gender,
employment in the age of climate change, care labour in an aging society, migration, and the
policy challenges regarding these issues in a globalized economy
 understand and critically evaluate the origins of the competing theories of employment, wages,
and income distribution in the classical, Keynesian, monetarist, new classical, new Keynesian,
Marxian, Post‐Keynesian, feminist, and ecological economics
 understand and critically evaluate the contesting policy implications of these competing theories
using a problem based approach through real world applications and empirical based evidence
analysis
 use the theories of labour economics to analyse local, national and international economic
outcomes, and challenge received wisdom.
 understand the role of government policy objectives and institutions in the labour market and
assess their success
 understand the link between employability and education and the macroeconomic constraints
 to apply the theories to international themes relevant to a broad range of developed and
developing countries.

Learning outcomes

A. Knowledge and understanding of:
 Principles of Labour Economics to analyse socially relevant problems of our time
such as unemployment, inequality among economic classes, ethnic groups and
gender, employment in the age of climate change, care labour in an aging society,
migration
 Competing theories of employment, wages, and income distribution in a
comparative and pluralistic fashion
 The use of quantitative and qualitative analysis of empirical data to analyze labour
market outcomes in the context of local, national and international labour
markets
 Government policies used to address a range of issues in the labour market
including unemployment, sustainability, inequality and work‐life balance
 The interplay between policies undertaken in the labour market and other
government economic policies
 Gaining an international perspective by considering cross‐country comparison in
employment, wages, income distribution, migration in a broad range of
developed and developing countries
2 B. Intellectual skills
B1.
 understand and critically evaluate competing theories and their assumptions
 Identify, define and explore problems such as unemployment and inequality
based on real world applications and empirical based evidence analysis
B2.
 Analyse, synthesise and evaluate theories and evidence regarding labour market
outcomes
 Read and critically analyze empirical academic articles and reports by
international institutions such as the ILO, OECD, IMF or government departments
on labour market outcomes
 Critically evaluate empirical facts and econometric/quantitative research findings
on labour market outcomes
 Appreciate the impact of government policy on the labour market and the people
who make up the labour market
 Ability to compare the way countries and groups of countries approach labour
market policy
B3.
 Analyze data and produce research report on labour market outcomes
 Communicate findings in an effective way
3 C. Subject Practical skills
 Undertake computer‐based literature search for a research report on labour market
outcomes
 Use electronic databases to retrieve data for a research report
 Manage and process data using spreadsheets and software packages
4 D. Transferable skills
D1
 Ability to critically reflect on different theories regarding labour market outcomes
in a comparative and pluralistic fashion
 Critically reflect on policies to tackle problems such as unemployment and
inequality;
 Appreciate the constraints of policy making such as the risks to climate change,
and critically evaluate policies to tackle multiple problems relevant to other fields
D2
 To be able to find and use appropriate sources of data on the labour market.
 To be able to find, use and critique key texts in labour economics
D3
 Presentation skills focused at explaining labour market problems to economists
and non economists using graphical, written, and verbal means
 Reading and understanding academic articles and technical reports for labour
market data
 Writing skills focused at both writing for labour economist and for non
economists.

Indicative content

1. Mainstream theory of labour markets: neo‐classical micro labour economics
 Labour Supply
 Labour Demand
 Labour Market Equilibrium
2. Unemployment: competing macroeconomic theories of the labour market and economic policy
implications
 Employment in Classical Macroeconomics
 Employment in the Keynesian System: The Role of Aggregate Demand
 Unemployment and economic policy after Keynes: The monetarist counterrevolution and
the natural rate of unemployment
 Unemployment and macroeconomic policy in New Classical Economics
 New Keynesian models: unemployment in efficiency wages, NAIRU (non‐accelerating
inflation rate of unemployment) and insider outsider models
 Unemployment in Marxian economics
3. Competing theories of unemployment tested: critical evaluation of empirical evidence
 The effect of labour market institutions, employment protection and minimum wage
regulations on unemployment, and the NAIRU (non‐accelerating inflation rate of
unemployment): econometric evidence
 Crises and the labour market outcomes: Case studies ‐ The Global Great Recession of 2007‐
2013
4. Wages and inequality: competing theories, policy implications, and empirical findings
 Human capital theory: education and earnings
 The wage s market discrimination
 Employment, inequality and gender
 Wages and inequality in a global context: Mainstream approach and empirical econometric
evidence
 Wages and inequality in a global context: Political economy approach and empirical
econometric evidence
5. Multiple policy challenges in the 21st century: ecological sustainability, equality, decent jobs
 Effects of wages and inequality on growth in a global context
 Ecological sustainability and green jobs
 Multiple targets: ecological sustainability, full employment, a caring economy, equality

Teaching and learning activity

There will be two hours of face‐to‐face weekly teaching consisting of a lecture and a tutorial. The
lecture will be used to present the main theories and concepts. The tutorial will be used to review
and explore key applications of the theories and evaluate empirical evidence using review questions,
in class group discussions and role plays. The teaching philosophy is based on research‐led teaching
bridging theory and real world cases and empirical evidence in a comparative and pluralistic fashion.
The lecture slides and review questions will be provided before the lectures on Moodle. Answers to
the review questions will be provided after the tutorials on Moodle.
The course will use selected chapters from several textbooks as well as selected academic journal
articles and research reports by international institutions such as the IMF, OECD, ILO for each week. In
class discussions will also build a connection between the course readings and current news in the
economics media such as the Financial Times, the Economist, or The Guardian.

Assessment

Unseen Examination: 50% weighting.
Outcome 1,2,4
2 hours closed book Examination, final exam week

Coursework: 50% weighting.
Outcome 1,2,3,4
3000 words research report on labour market outcomes in a country of choice (word count excludes tables and graphs)
3,000 word essay.

Pass mark 40%