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ECON 385: Labor Economics

The purpose of this course is to introduce important topics, theories, institutions, and policy issues relating to the functioning of labor markets. Topics to be considered include labor supply decisions, investments in human capital, compensating wage differentials, firms’ labor demand decisions, unions, compensation programs, the economics of unemployment, and labor market discrimination. The course will begin with the analysis of the neo-classical labor supply, demand and equilibrium. Then, we will move on to analyze the possible reasons why labor market outcomes may deviate from what the perfectly competitive neo-classical model predicts: human capital accumulation choices, productivity heterogeneity, institutional rigidities (e.g., minimum wage, unions), labor mobility and discrimination.

ECON 653: Economics of Early Childhood and Skill Formation

This course is the second in the Ph.D. Labor Economics sequence. We focus on the economics of skill formation and its consequences on later outcomes like schooling choices, health, social behaviors and labor market variables. We analyze both static and dynamic settings, in which we recognize that skill formation is a process in which early inputs strongly affect the productivity of later ones. To that aim, we will cover different econometric models used in the literature. Therefore, this course will be econometrically intense, covering from reduced form techniques to structural ones. We will pay special attention to econometric identification of effects and the analysis of unobserved heterogeneity, its consequences on empirical estimation and models to address it.