39069 - Labor Economics

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Decent work and economic growth

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course student has knowledge of a detailed analysis of the main areas in labor economics, both from a theoretical and an empirical perspective. Topics include the analysis of labor supply by individual and households, labor demand by firms, equilibrium wage differentials and employment outcomes resulting from the interaction of such supply and demand, education and human capital, life-cycle profiles, job search models, and labor market institutions. At the end of the course student has an understanding of how labor markets work and possess the basic tools to undertake original research in the field.

Course contents

This is a graduate-level (Master and PhD) course in labor economics. The goal is to introduce students to advanced analysis of labor markets and to provide them with tools to engage in independent research in labor economics. We will cover the following topics:

- Labor Supply
- Human capital
- Labor Demand
- Taxation of labor
- Search, matching, and unemployment
- The economics of immigration
- Automation and the future of work


  • Lecture notes.
  • Labor Economics, Second Edition, by Pierre Cahuc, Stéphane Carcillo and André Zylberberg, MIT Press, 2014 (a useful, though not required, graduate-level textbook).
  • Research articles assigned during the semester.

Teaching methods

Lectures (in class and/or remotely, depending on public health updates for in Semester 2)

Assessment methods

Problem sets will be assigned during the semester. The final exam consists of a report and presentation of a research article related to the topics studied in class, chosen from a list prepared by the instructor. The final grade is computed as follows: problem sets 20%; final exam 80%.

Office hours

See the website of Giulio Zanella