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ECON 453
Research in Labor Economics and Policy Fall 2020
Division II

Class Details

The labor market plays a crucial role in people’s lives worldwide. In industrialized countries, most households contain at least one wage earner, and income from working represents the largest component of total income. Thus analyses of the labor market are fundamentally relevant to both public policy and private decision-making. This seminar will explore the structure and functioning of the labor market using theoretical and empirical tools. Topics to be covered include labor supply and demand, minimum wages, labor market effects of social insurance and welfare programs, the collective bargaining relationship, discrimination, human capital, immigration, wage distribution, and unemployment. As labor economics is an intensely empirical subfield, students will be expected to analyze data as well as study the empirical work of others.
The Class: Format: seminar; I anticipate conducting the "hybrid" version of the course broadly similarly to the in-person version, but with students who are participating remotely attending synchronous class sessions via Zoom. Some use of written discussion boards to supplement in-person discussion and Socratic dialogues is also likely. That is my plan for now, but I will of course flexibly adapt the format as needed, both over the remainder of the summer and once the class begins.
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 2413
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: a series of short papers and empirical exercises, constructive contributions to class discussion, class presentations, and a 15- to 20-page original empirical research paper (written in stages)
Prerequisites: ECON 251 and ECON 255 or POEC 253
Enrollment Preferences: senior Economics majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: POEC Comparative POEC/Public Policy Courses

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