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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

This course focuses on the behaviour of employers and employees in response to the incentives of wages, prices, and profits. The employment relationship is one of the most important of our lives as we allocate a large proportion of our time to the labour market.  This course develops an understanding of how labour markets work, and will apply this to understand social and economic problems facing modern societies, such as the impact of welfare benefits and the usefulness of wage taxes and subsidies. We also introduce the key ideas of the economics of incentives, remuneration packages and labour contracts.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Heather Dickey

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either EC2002 Microeconomics 2 (Passed) or EC2003 Intermediate Microeconomics (Passed)
  • Either EC2502 Macroeconomics 2 (Passed) or EC2503 Intermediate Macroeconomics (Passed)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • EC3507 Labour Market Economics (Studied)
  • EC3525 Labour Market Economics (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course aims to develop an understanding of the level and structure of wages and employment in advanced industrial nations. Distinguishing the nature and determinants of the supply of and demand for labour, the course analyses the behaviour of labour markets and offers explanations of the major outcomes. Current policy issues such as the impact of welfare benefits on labour supply, wage taxes and subsidies, and competing models of the labour market will be explored. The course will also introduce students to personnel economics and key ideas in the economics of incentives, such as remuneration schemes, the structure of labour contracts, tournament and contests, as well as discrimination in labour markets.

Further Information & Notes

The course runs every two years, starting in 2013/14.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt:

1 three-hour examination (80%)

3000 word essay (20%)

Resit: 1 three-hour examination (100%).

Formative Assessment

This will take place via tutorial discussions, and via the in-course assessment.


Feedback is given in the in-course assessment (essay), giving students guidance on how to improve answer and general presentation of essay.

On a less formal basis, via verbal feedback during tutorial discussions.

Course Learning Outcomes


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