Labor Economics

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Remote students
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Description: 

The course can be followed online if the student has a valid reason (approved by the program director) for not being able to show up for class. If classroom teaching is allowed, the student is expected to make every effort show up in the classroom.

The course is an introduction to labor economics, emphasizing applied microeconomic theory and the important empirical methods for microeconomic analysis, as well as the link between research and public policy. Topics include: labor supply and labor demand, gender and racial discrimination, unemployment, minimum wages, compensating wage differentials, unemployment and job search.

The main goal of the course is to acquaint students with some core topics in labor economics and with some of the important empirical methods (primarily Difference-in-Differences Models, and Instrumental Variables), while building a set of tools that will allow students to be able to read and evaluate high-level contributions in the field of labor economics. Another goal is to develop students’ understanding of some core labor market institutions and public policies as income support programs, minimum wages, immigration and anti-discrimination policies.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students will be able to

· understand the basic theories of labor markets;

· read journal articles on the research frontier of labor economics;

· understand econometric identification issues;

· understand and analyze labor market policy outcomes.


Grading will be based on the total score out of 100, in line with CEU’s standard grading guidelines, as in:

Quizzes (at the beginning of each class on weeks 2,3,4,5,6) 12% (best 8 counts out of 10 quizzes)

Homework Assignments (at the end of weeks 4 and 6) 20% (2 in total, each worth 10%)

Participation in Discussion of Journal Articles 18% (3 in total, each worth 6%)

Final Exam 50%

Participation in Discussion of Journal Articles: each student will be assigned 3 journal articles randomly and will have to participate in the discussion of the given journal article when it is covered in class. The list of articles, the list of group mates and the specific questions to answer will be provided at least one week in advance the date. Students have to prepare answers and prepare for the journal article discussion with their randomly assigned group mates. Students who miss the class on which their journal article is covered will earn zero credit for that article.

Homework Assignments: students have to submit their homework assignments on:

1. end of 4th week, 23:59, Vienna time.

2. end of 6th week, 23:59, Vienna time.

Students who miss any of the above deadlines earn zero credit, unless presenting a doctor’s note for medical reasons, or in a justified case (e.g., extenuating family circumstances, or funerals) that needs to be indicated in advance, in writing (via email) to the instructor.

Final Exam: students need to take a closed-book final exam on Friday in the 7th week (exact time TBA), and must score at least 50% on the final exam to be able to pass the course.

Regular class attendance is a precondition for course completion. Students who miss three or more classes cannot receive a passing grade.

With the exception of students whose request to follow the course online was approved by the respective program heads, all students have to be present onsite.

In justified cases (e.g., medical reasons, extenuating family circumstances, visa appointments) permission for absence should be requested in advance, in writing (via email) to the instructor; in the case of medical or visa reasons, official doctor’s note or appointment confirmation needs to be attached to the email, or be presented later.


Microeconomics, Econometrics