Economics 3365                                                                                                                                 Spring 2012

Labor Economics                                                                                                                                                Dr. Juhn

M/W 1-2:30                                                                                                                                          McElhinney 201-A


Text:  George J. Borjas, Labor Economics, 5th edition.

Students are encouraged to collect and bring into class articles that are relevant to the issues covered in class.  Good sources are The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, and Business Week.  Another option is a labor economics blog maintained at UC Berkeley:

Introduction:  This course is designed to introduce students to economic theory, data and policy issues in labor economics.  Examples of issues covered will be labor market effects of minimum wage laws, mandatory employee benefits, technological change, international trade and immigration.  We will also study in depth the individual's decision to work and how welfare and income replacement programs affect such a decision.  We will also investigate the explanations behind labor market trends such as the rise in female labor supply, the rise in income inequality in the U.S., the decline in manufacturing employment and the decline of unions. Students are expected to have completed an intermediate level course in microeconomics.  There will be 1 midterm exam (worth 25%), 3 graded problem sets (each worth 10%), and a final exam (worth 45% of the final grade).  Note:  the final exam is cumulative. Homework assignments received after the due date will receive a grade equal to zero. 

Office Hours:  Wednesday 11:00-noon or by appointment.  It is generally a good idea to call ahead (x33823) or email (

1/18, 1/23                             Introduction (chapter 1)

1/25,1/30,2/1,2/6                                Labor Supply (chapter 2)

2/8, 2/13, 2/15                     Labor Demand (chapter 3)


2/15                                        1st problem set due


2/20, 2/22, 2/27                   Labor Market Equilibrium (chapter 4)   

2/29,3/5, 3/7                         Compensating Wage Differentials (chapter 5)


3/7                                          2nd problem set due


Spring Break-  March 12, 14


3/19, 3/21, 3/26                   Human Capital (chapter 6)


3/28                                        Midterm exam


4/2, 4/4,4/9                           The Wage Structure (chapter 7)

4/11,4/16                              Labor Mobility (chapter 8)

4/18, 4/23                             Labor Market Discrimination (chapter 9) 


4/18                                        3rd problem set due


4/25                                        Incentive Pay (chapter 11)

4/30                                        Review


 5/9                                         Final Exam          2:00-5:00 p.m.