Labour Economics - EC842

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2020 to 2021.


The module summarizes key advances in contemporary labour economics and provides deep understanding of how present-days labour markets function. It starts with considering strategic interactions between supply and demand sides of the labour market and acknowledging importance of incomplete information in these interactions. Then it looks into origins of unemployment and analyses the role of government in reducing unemployment and increasing participation. It addresses the process of wage determination and explains why similar workers are paid differently and have different career progression paths. It also analyses the related problem of investment in education in view of uncertain career prospects. Ultimately, module scrutinizes the origins of inequality and outlines the scope of public policies in maintaining efficient labour market in an equitable society. It concludes with studying international aspects of labour movements.

The module is essential for those who see their career in national and supra-national institutions that design, regulate and evaluate public policies at the labour market and beyond.


Contact hours

Contact Hours: 30
Private Study: 120
Total Hours: 150

Method of assessment

20% Individual Presentations
20% In-Course Test (60 minutes)
60% Examination (2 hours)

Indicative reading

• Cahuc, Pierre, Carcillo, Stéphane and André Zylberberg. Labor Economics. 2nd Edition. MIT Press, 2014
• Mortensen, Dale. Wage Dispersion: Why Are Similar Workers Paid Differently? MIT Press, 2003
• Pissarides, Christopher. Equilibrium Unemployment Theory. 2nd Edition. MIT Press, 2000

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

• design and apply at high level of abstraction theory and empirical models in their relation to modern labour markets
• systematically understand complexity of strategic interactions between all participants of the labour market and acknowledge the controversial role of institutions in these interactions
• flexibly apply knowledge to identify emerging issues at the global labour market
• critically analyse labour-related debates in the media
• improve learning, reading and writing skills through the use of the reading lists and participating in the seminar debates
• improve analytical skills as well as your problem solving skills through the use and application of the different models presented
• improve presentation and communication skills through the seminar presentations and debates


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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