Basic microeconomics and basic statistics (descriptive analysis and inference) are useful to fruitfully attend the course.
The aim of this course is to introduce the students to the empirical analysis of the labour market, including topics related to human resources management within organizations (personnel economics). More specifically, students will have the chance to both apply some basic statistical and econometric methods to specific topics related to the labour market and to test with real-world data the main labour economics theories.
Special attention will be devoted to the economic interpretation of the results and to policy implications.
At the end of the course, the student will be able to: 1) define a research question related to the labor market and/or personnel economics; 2) identify and/or collect data to empirically answer this question; 3) define and implement the empirical analysis; 4) provide some policy recommendations on the basis of the main results.
The course will cover the following topics:
1. Introduction to the empirical analysis in labour economics
- Identification strategies;
- Data types and collection;
- Measurement issues:
- Desriptive analysis
2. Returns to education
3. Labor supply, wage equation and sample selection
4. Incentives in organizations
5. Impact of labor market policies
- Minimum wage
- Unemployment benefits
6. Labor market discrimination.
There is not a required textbook, but the following textbook is highly recommended to students who are not familiar with basic labour economics models: Borjas, G. (2015), Labor Economics, McGraw Hill.
Furthermore, the following textbook is recommended to students without a statistical background: Anderson, D., Sweeney, D. and Williams, T. (2010), Essential of Statistics for Business and Economics, Cengage Learning.
The course will be based on the following basic reading list:
Angrist, J. and A. Krueger (1999). Empirical strategies in labor economics, in Ashenfelter, O. and Card, D. (eds), Handbook of labor economics, Vol 3A, Elsevier, 1277-1366.
RETURNS TO EDUCATION
Ashenfelter, O. C., and C. Rouse (1998). Income, schooling, and ability: Evidence from a new sample of identical twins. Quarterly Journal of Economics 113:253–84.
Card, D. (1993). Using geographical variation in college proximity to estimate the returns to schooling. NBER Working Paper Series, no 483.
INCENTIVES IN ORGANIZATIONS
Lazear, E. (2000). Performance Pay and productivity. American Economic Review, 90(5): 1346-1361.
Lucifora, C. and F. Origo (2015). Performance-Related Pay and Firm Productivity: Evidence from a Reform in the Structure of Collective Bargaining”, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 68(3): 603-632.
Bertrand, M., and S. Mullainathan (2004). Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination. American Economic Review, 94(4): 991–1013.
O'Neill, J., & O'Neill, D. (2006). What do wage differentials tell us about labor market discrimination?" Research in Labor Economics (2005 NBER version is fine).
IMPACT OF LABOUR MARKET POLICIES
a) Minimum wage:
Card, D., and A. Krueger (1994). Minimum wage and employment: A case study of the fast food industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. American Economic Review 84 (4): 772–93.
Neumark, D., and W. Wascher. (2000). Minimum wages: A case study of the fast food industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania; Comment. American Economic Review 90: 1362–96.
b) Unemployment benefits:
Lalive, R. (2007). Unemployment benefits, duration and post-unemployment jobs. American Economic Review 97(2): 108 –112.
Lalive, R. (2008). How do extended benefits affect unemployment duration? A regression discontinuity approach. Journal of Econometrics, 142: 785-806.
Further references will be provided during lectures.
Frontal lectures supported by applied labs using Stata (one of the most used software worldwide for statistics and data science), in which students will have the chance to replicate some of the empirical studies discussed during lectures.
The evaluation of this course will be based on a take-home empirical project (40% of the final mark) and a final written test (60% of the final mark).
The empirical project will consist of a short report (2000-2500 words, including tables and figures) in which the students have to carry out an empirical analysis on a specific topic of labour/personnel economics. Students can work either alone or in couples and choose their own topic or follow the guidelines proposed by the professor.
The final test will consist of open questions on the topics covered by the course.
A minimum score of 18/30 in both the empirical project and the written test is required to pass the course.