Labor Economics

Economics 420

Prerequisites: Econ 105 and Econ 110
Course Description

Labor economics is concerned with the behavior of employers and employees in response to material incentives. It studies processes and outcomes of the market for labor. Labor economics is primarily concerned with the demand and supply of labor resources and their interaction. We examine the relationship between wages and employment opportunities, the interaction between wages, income, and the decision to work, the way general market incentives affect occupational choice, the relationship between wages and undesirable job characteristics, the incentives for and effects of educational and training investments, and the effects of unions on wages, productivity, and turnover.


Students are required to complete three essays examinations related to class materials.


Ronald G. Ehrnberg and Robert S. Smith, Modern Labor Economics: Theory and Public Policy, 4th ed. (New York: Harper Collins Publishers Inc., 1991).