Labour Economics

Module description

The labour market is central to the well-functioning of the economy. This module applies micro and macroeconomic principles to the economics of the labour market. It will explore the determination of the market equilibrium, by studying labour demand and supply of labour, and also study various topics such as the returns to education, unemployment, and earnings inequality.

Full module specification

Module title:Labour Economics
Module code:BEE3057
Module level:3
Academic year:2018/9
Module lecturers:
  • Ms Elisa Keller - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



BEE2025 and BEE2026



Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

The aim of this module is to undertake a detailed analysis of various topics in labour economics. In particular, the module provides an introduction to the theories of economic behaviour in the labour market. It is geared towards illustrating the empirical evidence as well as the policy implications of these models.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. apply economic principles to a wide range of labour market issues
  • 2. relate a wide range of labour market facts to the research literature in labour economics

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. demonstrate analytical skills, specifically the ability to use theoretical models to analyse practical economic problems

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 4. demonstrate analytical and critical thinking
  • 5. deliver coherent argument in written work
  • 6. 6. demonstrate ability to work effectively in groups, which is an essential skill in many workplaces

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Tutorials
Guided Independent Study123

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In class discussion

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Final Exam802 hours1-5Written
Group work Essay203,000 words1-6Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Final Exam and EssayExam 100% 2 hours1-5August Examination Period

Syllabus plan

  • Overview of the Labour Market
  • The Demand for Labour
  • Frictions in the Labour Market
  • Labour Supply: Participation, Household Production, the Family, and the Life Cycle
  • Investments in Human Capital: Education and Training
  • Unemployment
  • Inequality in Earnings

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Ehrenberg, R. And Smith, R. (2011) Modern Labour Economics: Theory and Public Policy, Prentice Hall

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