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Empirical Labor Economics (MSB280)

This course is designed to help students understand the principles underlying both labor demand and labor supply. The main themes include (but are not limited to):

  • Labor supply and individual trade-offs between work and leisure
  • Parental labor force participation
  • Welfare and labor supply
  • Labor demand and firms decisions on employment
  • The effects of taxation on labor demand
  • Human capital model
  • The Spence signaling model
  • Returns to education

Course description for study year 2022-2023. Please note that changes may occur.

Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction


Learning outcome


Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • Have good knowledge of the fundamental principles that determine firms' labor demand and individuals labor supply
  • Be able to apply basic decision-making models to phenomena such as discrimination, parental labor supply, retirement and educational attainment decisions


Upon completion of the course, students will:

  • Be able to predict the likely effects of income and payroll taxes on individual and firms' labor supply and demand
  • Be able to discuss aggregate labor statistics (e.g., unemployment rate) with an understanding of what underlies the measurement
  • Have a basic understanding of the statistical strategies needed to measure the effects of policies on labor supply and demand
Required prerequisite knowledge
Recommended prerequisites
We will use Microsoft Excel for estimation in a couple of lectures. It is assumed that students either have working knowledge of Excel or are capable of learning to use it independently or with basic guidance.
Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written exam 1/1 4 Hours Letter grades Approved, basic calculator, Dictionary,

Coursework requirements
2 problem sets
Course teacher(s)
Course coordinator: Eric Perry Bettinger
Study Program Director: Yuko Onozaka
Method of work

A 2-week course, 4 hours per day. Lectures and problem-solving. Language of instruction: English

Students are expected to prepare for and review the lecture materials on their own. Regular assignments that typically include both conceptual and computer exercises (data analysis) will also be given. The expected workload for this course is:

  • Lectures: 40 hours
  • Lab: 4 hours
  • Specific guidance: 6 hours
  • Assignments: 40 hours
  • Other preparations and reviews of materials: 180 hours

Total: 270 hours

Overlapping courses
Course Reduction (SP)
Empirical Labor Economics (MØA280_1) 10
Open for
Master in Accounting and Auditing Business Administration - Master of Science Business Administration - Master of Science (5 years)
Course assessment
Students will have the opportunity to give feedback on the course first in an early dialogue, and then in a written course evaluation at the end of the course.
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