Excerpt from course description

Labor Markets and Personnel Economics


The labor market is probably the most important market in the economy, and a thorough understanding of how it works is important for an applied economist. This course will give students the knowledge and skills necessary to quantitatively analyze labor markets, wage determination, and human resource management. It will introduce students to recent trends in labor markets related to technological innovation (digitalization and automation) and globalization and the distributional and ethical challenges arising from those. It will cover topics related to personnel economics (recruiting and motivating workers and managers), discrimination, and theories of unemployment. It will cover examples of empirical data analysis associated with measuring wage discrimination. 

Course content

  • Wage formation: labor supply, labor demand, and the theory of human capital;
  • Personnel economics and human resource management: incentives and compensation for workers and managers; analyzing the effects of changes in compensation schemes.
  • Discrimination: understanding and measuring discrimination in the labor market;
  • Wage inequality, employment, and the role of technology, computerization, and international trade;
  • Unemployment and public policy;
  • Labor market institutions, sustainability, and the distributional consequences of technology, globalization, and labor market policies.


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