Labor economics from a macroeconomic perspective

This course deals with labor economic issues that have macroeconomic implications. The main macroeconomic problems to be addressed are unemployment, deficient skills, and the macroeconomic implications of social fragmentation. Particular attention will be given to these problems in response to the challenges of digitalisation and globalisation.

The course will cover the following topics: (1) macroeconomic empirical regularities concerning aggregate employment, unemployment, wage formation, productivity, and inflation in OECD countries, (2) the main theoretical challenges in accounting for these regularities, (3) market clearing theories of the labor market  (Walrasian, price-misperceptions and market power), (4) non-clearing labor markets (efficiency wages, insiders versus outsiders and unions), (5) inequality and social fragmentation, (6) identity formation and  labor market activity, (7) organisational change and the future of work in the digital age and (8) labor market policies to promote employment and skills. These issues will be related to policy concerns in the G20.

Students will work in teams, each of which is required (i) to produce a research paper addressing a well-defined policy issue, containing theoretical and empirical analysis, (ii) to produce a “Policy Brief” based on their research paper, and (iii) give a group presentation that describes the underlying challenge, the analysis of the challenge and the policy recommendations.

This is a 2nd year elective with a Policy Analysis concentration. It can be taken in place of C8 Economics II, for students who completed GRAD-C7adv Advanced Economics during the Fall 2019 semester. If you took GRAD-C7 Economics I Intro and received a recommendation, you may also take this elective in place of C8 Economics II. Please note that in each course we have designated spots for both 1st year students and 2nd year students. As with all electives, 2nd year students with the respective area of concentration will get preference within the designated spots for 2nd year students.