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ECO3004 : Labour Economics

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Roberto Bonilla Trejos
  • Other Staff: Dr Ian Gregory-Smith
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


Semester 1 aims: To develop students’ understanding of the principles and techniques used in traditional labour economics, and use them to analyse core issues such as: labour supply, labour demand, discrimination, labour unions, incentive pay, tournaments theory.

Semester 1 aims: To develop students’ understanding of the principles and techniques used in modern labour economics, and use them to analyse core issues regarding unemployment, wage formation, efficiency wages, turnover raiding and counteroffers and the link between labour markets and marital outcomes. Empirical issues are also analysed in the light of the theoretical analysis.

Outline Of Syllabus

Semester 1:
Labour supply
Labour demand
Labour unions
Incentive pay
Tournaments theory.

Semester 2

The Pissarides Model of Unemployment: Unemployment in a frictional labour market
The Burdett-Mortensen model of on-the-job search: Search in the labour market and wage distributions
Efficiency wages in Traditional and frictional models of the labour market.
Raiding, offers and counter offers in frictional markets.
Labour markets and marriage markets.
Semester 2:


Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00In Term 2. Present-in-person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture72:0014:00All of of these in Term 1. Present-in-person
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion167:0067:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture62:0012:00All of these in term 2. Present-in-person
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading150:0050:00Term 1
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:003 per term. Present-in-person
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:0050:00Term 2
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1.Lectures give overview of main theoretical ideas and how to obtain theoretical conclusions from economic models.

2.Seminars provide the opportunity for students to work in a group context, critically discuss issues and apply the theoretic developments to real world examples, and for solving analytical problems. This will include Pre-submission clinic to address the Essay (Term 1) and the Final Examination (Term 2).

3.Private study involves following up reading list references for seminar and examination preparation.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A75Unseen
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M251000 words
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written Examination2MThere will be a mock exam question in Semester 2. Feedback will be provided in the form individual meetings during office hours.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The 25% essay is appropriate to assess understanding beyond what is expected in a time limited unseen examination, allowing the student more options to convey their understanding. The exam is the standard tool for examining theoretical material under time and resource constraints.

The combination of 25% essay and 75% exam allows to test a wider set of skills, and also helps the student to obtain timely feedback for the final exam.

The proposed exam is suitable for online take home if required.

Reading Lists