Advanced Labor Economics
This course covers selected topics in labor economics for PhD students. Relevant theory will be discussed, but there will be some emphasis on what most labor economists do: applied research that tests or calibrates theories, that evaluates the impact of institutions and policies, or that simply attempts to provide careful description of important labor market phenomena.
The course is offered in two modes: the first (for 2 credits) is based on lectures and readings, and the second (for 4 credits) adds two writing assignments, including a research project supervised by the instructors; these are described further below.
- Knowledge of selected areas of professional research in the field of labor economics.
- Ability to criticize and evaluate previous research.
- Capability to carry out labor economics research.
- Ability to write papers that contribute to the field.
There are two options for course requirements and assessment.
Option 1 (2 credits) has a comprehensive final exam (on a date to be scheduled by the Department) that counts for 100% of the course grade.
Option 2 (4 credits) adds two (possibly linked) writing assignments: a referee report and a paper based on a replication project. The referee report is a short analysis of a labor economics paper describing its contributions to existing research and making criticisms and suggestions for improvement, and the replication project involves reproducing the analysis in some (possibly the same) paper, with some modifications designed to test the robustness of the original results.
Under Option 2, the course grade is determined as follows:
Exam – 50%
Referee report – 7%
Prospectus – 3%
Replication paper – 35%
In the written work, both the quality of writing and the quality of analysis will be important criteria in grading.