Applied Labor Economics



Credits / Language / Semester

2Credits / English / Summer


This is a graduate course in labor economics. The course presents theories and empirical facts of labor markets. The course mainly focuses on aggregate labor market performance such as unemployment, wage determination, worker reallocation, and productivity. This course emphasizes the connection between theories and practice. Topics include: labor demand, labor supply, search theory, job creation and destruction, worker reallocation, unemployment, wage determination, human capital investment, and labor market policies. The course also covers issues facing the Japanese labor market. There will be both theoretical exercises and numerical assignments.


Unemployment, Wages, Labor demand and supply, Japanese labor market


1. Introduction
2. Labor demand
3. Labor supply
4. Labor market equilibrium
5. Unemployment dynamics
6. Unemployment dynamics
7. Labor mobility
8. Midterm exam
9. Labor search
10. Labor search
11. Wage determination
12. Human capital
13. Labor market policies
14. Issues in the Japanese labor market
15. Final exam

Teaching Methods



Grades will be based on two things, exams and problem sets. There will be one midterm and a cumulative final. Problem sets count for 10% of your final grade and exams count for the remaining 90% (the midterm 40% and the final exam 50%). The midterm and final exam will be held in class.

Required Textbooks

We will use a variety of different sources. There are no required textbooks, but the course uses the following two as recommend textbooks.
● Ehrenberg, Ronald G., and Robert Stewart Smith. Modern Labor Economics: Theory and Public Policy, 10th Edition, Addison-Wesley.
● George J. Borjas. Labor Economics, 6th Edition, McGraw-Hill.

Reference Books

Additional Readings
● Pissarides, Christopher A., Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd edition, 2000, MIT Press.
● Mortensen, Dale T. Wage Dispersion, 2003, MIT Press.
● Davis, Steven J., John C. Haltiwanger, and Scott Schuh, Job Creation and Destruction, 1996, MIT Press.
● Lecture notes.
● Assigned articles.

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