ØASØK4700 Labour Economics Course description

Course name in Norwegian
Study programme
Masterstudium i økonomi og administrasjon
Year of study
FALL 2021
Course history


The course introduces students to basic economic theories of how labour market functions and the policy implications. It will also present empirical methods used in the current literature to analyse the roles of market institutions and policy interventions of various kinds. Topics include market equilibrium in competitive and non-competitive labour markets, human capital, unemployment, job search, migration, discrimination and collective bargaining.

Recommended preliminary courses

ØASØK4100 Microeconomics.

Required preliminary courses


Learning outcomes

After completing the course, students will acquired the learning outcomes defined in knowledge, skills and general competence:


The students

  • have in-depth knowledge of the economic theories of labour market, including what factors determine the supply decisions of workers and the demand decisions of employers and how the labour market balances out the conflicting interests of the two parties
  • have advanced knowledge of how various institutional features (labour market discrimination, labour union, incentive pay systems etc.) impact the labour market outcomes (distribution of earnings, employment opportunity etc.)
  • have advanced knowledge of how investments in human capital determine the shape of the wage distribution
  • have advanced knowledge of how unemployment exists and persists in labour markets and the challenges in policymaking addressing unemployment


The students

  • can analyse theoretical models to investigate how labour markets function and interpret the model findings to address challenges in policymaking
  • can analyse relevant data and design empirical models to investigate effects of economic and social policies (migration, discrimination, education etc.) on labour-market outcomes
  • can analyse empirical evidence and relate critically to economic theories to enhance understanding of policy effects and to make policy recommendations
  • can acquire skill to work independently to develop and study research questions using existing theories and research methods


The students

  • can communicate with practitioners and policy makers to design and analyse labour-market policies
  • can engage in analytical discussions of economic reports and policy papers
  • can disseminate knowledge through presentation and discussion to both specialists and to the general public
  • can critically reflect on scope and limitations of economic policies to address the functioning of labour markets

Teaching and learning methods

Various work methods will be used such as lectures, interactive discussions about current issues, and assignments. The students are expected to work on assignments both individually and in groups outside of the joint lectures.

Course requirements



Written school exam (4 hours).

Permitted exam materials and equipment

One dictionary (Native language-English/English-native language or English-English).

Calculator (as specified in regulations for use of calculator). 

Grading scale

Letter grading A-F.


An internal and an external examiner will grade the exam.

A selection of at least 25% of the exam papers will be assessed by two examiners. The grades awarded to exam papers assessed by the external and internal examiner will be used to determine the level of all exam papers.

Course contact person

Tapas Kundu