UCL Department of Economics


ECON0062 - Topics in Labour Economics


This course provides an overview of key topics in the field of labour economics. More specifically, the course:

  • teaches the key elements of labour economics
  • uses labour economics to say something about how real world phenomena related to the labour market work
  • shows how models in labour economics derived from first order principles can inform empirical analysis and policy
  • is strongly empirically motivated, but also stresses the links between theoretical and empirical research
  • touches at commonly used empirical methods to obtain causal effects (difference-in-differences, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity)
  • covers key papers (often written 15-20 years ago) in conjunction with related (unpublished) papers at the current research frontier

Course outline:   

  • Lecture 1: Human Capital and Wages
  • Lecture 2: The Sources of Wage Growth
  • Lecture 3: The Structure of Wages and Inequality of Earnings I
  • Lecture 4: The Structure of Wages and Inequality of Earnings II
  • Lecture 5: Unions and Minimum Wages
  • Lecture 6: Statistical Discrimination and Employer Learning
  • Lecture 7: Asymmetric Information in the Labour Market
  • Lecture 8: Firm-Based and Apprenticeship Training
  • Lecture 9: Tracked vs Comprehensive Schooling Systems
  • Lecture 10: Social Interactions, Networks, and Neighbourhood Effects
Taught by:

Christian Dustmann


There is a 2-hour unseen written exam in the third term and there will be 6 tutorial classes with 5 written assignments of which 3 have to be submitted.

Suitable for:Graduate students
Prerequisites:Permission from the Economics Department
Moodle page:ECON0062