Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


At the end of the course, students will be familiar with

  • Basic facts about: educational attainment of the workforce, labor market differences between demographic groups, technological change and trends in globalization (trade, migration)
  • Main theories for understanding
    • educational choices
    • differences in labor market outcomes between demographic groups
    • how technology and globalization affect the labor market
  • Examples of empirical work investigating these theories

Credits: 6

Schedule: 20.04.2021 - 01.06.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Flavio Hafner

Contact information for the course (valid 16.03.2021-21.12.2112):

Teacher in charge: Flavio Hafner,

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):



  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The course gives an overview of modern theoretical and empirical approaches used in labor economics to understand educational choices, labor market inequalities between demographic groups, and the effect of technological change and globalization on the labor market. It will also discuss minimum wages.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The theme of the present class is to understand differences in labor market outcomes across demographic groups. Using theory and empirical applications, it covers topics such as self-selection, education, technological change and trade as well as imperfectly competitive labor markets, discrimination and compensating wage differentials.
    By covering both classic papers and more recent studies, the class lies somewhere in between a standard labor class and a PhD topics class.Understanding the economic intuition of the theory is more important than the math, but we will discuss some models in more detail, too. The empirical papers are selected with the aim to discuss a range of different methodologies, although descriptive and quasi-experimental work is overrepresented.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    There will be four graded problem sets and a final exam. The problem sets count one third (33%), the exam two thirds (67%) towards the final grade. To pass the course, students should pass both the problem sets and the exam.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    (NOTE: INFORMATION HAS BEEN UPDATED). There will be five graded problem sets and a final exam. The problem sets count one half (50%), the exam one half (50%) towards the final grade. To pass the course, students should pass both the problem sets and the exam.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    24 hours of lectures, 5 exercise sessions, 1 recap session

    5 assignments require a few hours of work each.

    Final exam requires 3 hours of work.


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Articles assigned at the course and selected chapters from book “Labor Economics” by Cahuc/Carcillo/Zylberberg (2014, Second edition) or alternatively Cahuc/Zylberberg (2004).

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The main book reference is:

    Cahuc, P., Carcillo, S., and Zylberberg, A. (2014). Labor Economics. MIT Press (or an earlier version)

    There is a set of additional papers which are listed on the syllabus.

Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    31E00710 Topics in Labor Economics

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Students should be comfortable with intermediate microeconomics and with basic concepts covered in Empirical Methods for Economists (31C01200 Taloustieteen empiiriset menetelmät or 30C00200 Econometrics or 30C00500 Ekonometria, or Capstone course 31C99904 Econometrics and Data Analysis). We also recommend Microeconometrics I (31E00910) and Labor Economics I.


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    Lectures are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. TA sessions are on Fridays. Problem sets are due on Thursday, 23:59 before the respective TA session.