Course level: Undergraduate

2020-2021 onward
Ca' Foscari University of Venice

This course represents an introduction to labor economics, which has grown enormously as a research field in the past several decades. While being originally focused only on the study of the behavior of firms and workers, modern labor research examines diverse areas such as education, health, family interactions, migration and inequality.
The course is structured in two parts. The first part covers the fundamental topics in labor economics, particularly the study of the labor market. This part of the course analyzes the individuals’ decisions to work (labor supply), the firms’ decision to hire workers (labor demand) and how an equilibrium between firms and workers is reached (labor market equilibrium). We also study special cases of labor supply decisions, such as how the decision to work is influenced by the workers’ age or the business cycle or how it changes in the context of a household in which both husband and wife makes labor supply choices.
The second part of the course covers selected topics in modern labor economics, possibly accompanied by the study of empirical applications/papers: education as an investment in human capital, migration, labor market discrimination, unemployment, wage inequality.
Our approach is both theoretical and empirical: we discuss theoretical models as well as the evidence on how well the real world matches the predictions of such models. Moreover, when presenting and discussing academic papers, the course also presents the main strategies/methods used in empirical research to analyze labor market phenomena.

Comprehensive information about this course in English

Comprehensive information about this course in Italian

UpdatedSyllabus_30March2023 (103.00 KB)