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Course 2003-2004 a.y.


Department of Economics

Go to class group/s: 31

Classes: 31

Introduction to the course:

The purpose of the course is to provide the basic analytical tools allowing to understand the role played by different institutions in shaping the labour market.  After characterising the key asymmetries in employment and unemployment performance and labour market institutions between the US and the European Union, the course considers the effects of different institutions, such as unemployment benefits, employment protection, means-tested social assistance, active labour market policies, labour taxation, minimum wage, structure of collective bargaining and of the unionisation of the workforce.  The final section is on training and on the role played by education systems in labour market performance.  The course draws extensively on the heterogeneity of labour market institutions within the EU.  It introduces simple models of the effects of different institutions and assess their relevance in light of data which will be made available to students. Whenever the possible, the analysis of the effects of institutions is compounded with results from the literature on the relationship between the labour markets and the institutions themselves.

Course Content :
  • Institutional Asymmetries between Europe and the US
  • Employment Protection: theory and empirical evidence
  • Non-employment benefits and labour supply: theory and empirical evidence.
  • Employment-conditional incentives and welfare-to-work: theory and facts
  • Labour Taxation and Employment
  • Institutional trade-offs and political constraints to reforms
  • Minimum Wages, Unions and the structure of Collective Bargaining Press 
  • Human capital


Selected readings will be provided at the beginning of the course.  The compulsory readings are mainly in the form of powerpoint presentations, handouts and recent articles of scientific journals.  
Datasets will also be provided to the students allowing them to replicate some of the key results of the literature.
A complete set of readings is available on the website IEP - Bacheca on line, or at SID - Servizio Informazioni Didattica - Institute of Economics, via Gobbi 5, Room 313.


Written exams.