Economics and Management 416
Labor Economics




Notes, Homework, and Class Schedule       Textbook       Grading System

Course Description 


Location and Time

Lecture: MacLean 166 MWF
Office Hours: MW 1:30-4:30 & T 1:30-5:30


Gregory Stutes
Office: 380K MacLean Hall
Telephone: 477-4027

E-mail:  (I check my e-mail and will respond, but I want you to e-mail responsibly.  Questions like, "How do I do this problem," need to be addressed in office hours not e-mail.  Questions like, "I missed class tell me what we did," are also problematic because I will not type a lecture to you.  Use e-mail professionally, not casually. 

Course Description

This course will introduce students to Labor Economics, tools that economists use to analyze labor issues, and the associated public policy concerns. First, we will review economics in general and some of the tools of economists. Using these tools, we will overview how markets work and examine some economic problems.  We will build our economic skills by examining separate sections on labor demand, labor supply, and the market equilibrium.  After developing the basic labor skills, the class will focus on personnel economics and some applications. 

In the past there has been no systematic disciple on which to base human resources questions and personnel has been regarded as "soft".  That is no longer true.  While our textbook relegates personnel objectives to one chapter, we will expand to explore several issues.  We will use modern methods to provided detailed and unambiguous answers to HR problems.  This is an advanced class and will require more effort than Econ 202/204.  We are trying to make some sense out of this crazy world; it is a difficult task, but a very interesting one. 

This course is a Writing Intensive course and developing our writing skills will be a key focus of the class.  You will be required to develop a series of writing projects involving an economic model and data and report your findings.  In order to effectively share knowledge gained through economic research, one must be able to communicate well through writing.  You will spend much of the semester writing and revising a research paper.  



Derek Laing: Labor Economics Introduction to Classic and New Labor Economics

A copy of all additional readings will be available online or through JStor.

Grading System 

The required work for this class consists of two midterm exams, a final exam, a series of papers, several homework assignments, and class participation.  Your grade for the semester will be based on your work on these assignments and the quality and quantity of your class participation.  The relative weight of each of these components will be:

Midterm                               15%

Midterm II                            20%

Final                                 30%

Writing Assignments                   17%

Homework                              18%

Family Labor History

Each student will be required to conduct research on their families labor market history for the past 100 years or more (e.g. grandparents, great-grandparents, great aunts and uncles).  You should choose 2 to 3 members of your family.  Based on occupation of the selected family members, you will do research on the occupation of the selected family members, you will do research on the labor market for that particular industry at that time.  Topics of labor analysis that you should use include:

The paper should be 4 to 7 pages long.


Writing Intensive Assignments--Path 1:

1.  Family Labor History

2.  Resume

3.  Annotated Bibliography--5 academic journal articles:  Minimum 3 pages.

4.  Book review: Minimum 5 pages

5.  Literature Review--at least 5 journal articles, 1 book, an 5 popular press article: Minimum 7 pages.

6.  Popular press article or research proposal: Minimum 5 pages.

7.  Peer review/referee report of article: Minimum 3 pages.



Writing Intensive Assignments--Path 2:

1.  Family Labor History

2.  Resume

3.  Proposal: Minimum of 3 pages.

4.  Literature Review: Minimum of 7 pages.

5.  Research Design, Hypotheses, and Measures: Minimum of 4 pages.

6.  Findings, Discussion and Conclusion: Minimum of 4 pages.

7.  Final Paper: Minimum of 16 pages, due on or before our final. No late papers
    will be accepted.

Academic Honesty: Be very careful not to plagiarize. Plagiarism is the copying of another’s words or ideas without proper citation. It includes copying from another student, a published source, or the Internet. ALL quotes (even parts of a sentence) must be clearly identified in quotation marks and properly cited. Even if you rephrase the words, if the idea is someone else’s, you must give credit to that person.  All written work must be done individually and properly cited.

(While copying and pasting is common in syllabi, and usually done without citation, it should be noted that the preceding paragraph was copied from a colleague’s syllabus.)


 Course Outline and Reading List   

Economics 416

Labor Economics

Date Subject Updates Readings Homework Notes
8/27 Introduction Chpt. 1
8/29 US Labor Market This is a review chapter from Mankiw's Principles if you need some extra.

Mankiw's Factor Markets
8/31 Review of S&D Chpt 2
9/3 Labor Day        
9/5 S&D  
9/7 Demand Of Labor Chpt 3  
9/10 Family Labor History Project
9/12 Labor Supply Chpt 4 Problem Set 1
Chpt 1: P3, P4, P6, P7, P8
Chpt 2: P8
9/14 Resume
9/19 Human Capital    
9/21     Corrected Problem Set 2 Due 9/26
Chpt 3: P2, P4, P8
Chpt 4: P1, P2, P3, P5, P6, P10
9/24   KEY #1

**Study Guide**
9/26 Midterm I NO MIDTERM TODAY Annotated Bibliography
9/28 OTJ Training     KEY #2
10/3 Competitive Equilibrium **MIDTERM I**    
10/8 Minimum Wage
10/10 War on Poverty    
10/12 Discrimination        
10/15 No Class Fall Breather  
10/22 Hiring Process     Part 3 of the Writing Assignments is Due Today
10/24     HW #3

Chpt 13: r1,r2,r4,r8,p6
Chpt 14: r2,r6,r10
10/26 Incentives    
11/5       Part 4 of the Writing Assignments is Due Today  
11/7 Workers' Productivity  
11/9 Piece Rate or Salary    
11/12     Test so far
11/16 Midterm II    
11/19   Part 5 of the Writing Assignments is Due Today
11/21  Thanksgiving      
11/23 Thanksgiving  
11/26 Earning Part I    
11/28 Earnings Part II
11/30 Part III   Part 6 of the Writing Assignments is Due Today
12/3 Migration I HW #4
Chpt 11: P2, P3, P5, P8
Chpt 12: R1, R2, R5, R6
Chpt 20: R1, R3
12/5 Migration II  
12/7 Mobility I  
12/10 Mobility II  

12/12 Study Day   Part 7 of the Writing Assignment is Due Today



The Final will be on the official scheduled date and time.  Please consult your Schedule of Classes