Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session
Recitations: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session
This is the second of a two-part sequence of courses in labor economics. This sequence is designed to prepare graduate students for general examinations in the field of labor economics in the Department of Economics and in the Sloan School of Management. The course sequence is also open to qualified students in related fields and classes may be taken individually or out of sequence. This part of the sequence is principally concerned with issues relating to the determinants of the wage and salary distribution. The first half (taught by Steve Pischke) is organized around topics in wage determination, which are of particular interest for current research and policy and culminates with a focus on recent debates about the increasing dispersion of wage and salary income. The second half of the course (taught by Michael Piore) is focused on labor market institutions and technological changes, and relates the debate about the income distribution to other major changes in the structure and texture of advanced industrial societies which have accompanied the widening dispersion of income. The emphasis is on the United States and other advanced industrial countries, with some discussion of the relevance of the theory and analysis to developing economies.
Students who are planning on becoming labor economists are encouraged to invest in all five volumes of the Handbook of Labor Economics (Elsevier Science).
Ashenfelter, Orley, P. R. G. Layard, and David E. Card, eds. Handbook of Labor Economics. Vols. 1, 2, 3A, 3B, and 3C. New York, NY: Elsevier, 1986-1999. ISBN: 9780444878564 (vol. 1), 9780444878571 (vol. 2), 9780444501875 (vol. 3A), 9780444501882 (vol. 3B), 9780444501899 (vol. 3C).
There will be a number of problem sets, two short essay assignments, and a final exam. All students must attend class regularly and contribute to discussions. Students taking the Labor General must also take the Final Exam. Late assignments and incompletes will not be accepted - you must complete all class requirements this spring.