Labour Economics - ECON8420

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Spring Term 7 15 (7.5) Andrey Launov checkmark-circle


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

Private Study: 120
Contact Hours: 30
Total: 150


Compulsory to the following course:
• MSc Economics

Optional to the following courses:
• MSc Economics and Econometrics
• MSc Development Economics

Method of assessment

Individual presentations, (10 minutes per student): 20%
Take Home Test (60 minutes): 20%
Examination (2 hours): 60%

Reassessment method: 100% Exam

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Design and apply at high level of abstraction theory and empirical models in their relation to modern labour markets
2 Systematically understand complexity of strategic interactions between all participants of the labour market and acknowledge the controversial role of institutions in these interactions
3 Flexibly apply knowledge to identify emerging issues at the global labour market
4 Critically analyse labour-related debates in the media.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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