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EC966: Labour Economics

  • Roland Rathelot

    Module Leader
18 CATS - Department of Economics
Summer Module
Spring Module

Principal Aims

The aim of the module is to equip students with the analytical tools and the knowledge to study and understand the economics of unemployment, jobs and wages.

The module relates recent developments in labour-economics research with policy-relevant issues.

Principal Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students will:

Be able to combine theoretical models and empirical results to address policy issues related to employment, unemployment and wages.

Be able to advise on labour market policies from a position of knowledge.

Be able to understand recent research works in empirical labour economics, to assess their relevance, contribution and reliability and to connect them with existing results and open policy questions.


The syllabus may cover, but is not limited to, recent developments in labour economics research including:

1. Labour supply

2. Labour demand

3. Human capital: Returns to schooling and quality of education

4. Equilibrium of the competitive labour market, Hedonic theory of wages and CEO pay

5. Unemployment, Job Search and Matching

6. Discrimination

7. Unemployment Insurance

8. Active Labour Market Policies

In each case, discussion will include theory and empirical work.


Optional Module
L1P6 - Year 1
Pre or Co-requisites
Basic knowledge of microeconomic principles, elementary mathematical methods such as constrained optimization, and simple statistical methods such as multivariate regression. Knowledge of panel data techniques and basic microeconometrics would be an advantage.


Assessment Method
Coursework (100%)
Coursework Details
Two short essays (worth 12.5% each) + 2 hour test taken in computer room (75%)

Exam Rubric

Test Rubric

Time Allowed: 2 Hours

Answer ALL questions in Section A (45 marks) and ONE question from each of Section B (25 marks) and Section C (30 marks).

Approved pocket calculators are allowed.

This exam will take place in a computer room. Sections A and B will have to be completed within 40 minutes. Section C will have to be completed in 80 minutes. For Sections A and B, students will have access to no resources. For Section C, students will have access to the course material and to academic publications.

Previous exam papers can be found in the University’s past papers archive. Please note that previous exam papers may not have operated under the same exam rubric or assessment weightings as those for the current academic year. The content of past papers may also be different.

Reading Lists