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The University of Southampton

ECON3027 Labour Economics

Module Overview

The module will introduce students to key theories in the analysis of labour markets and to develop knowledge of the relevant institutional framework. The module aims to relate both theory and evidence to key policy issues.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how labour markets work in theory and in practice
  • Use quantitative reasoning in economic contexts
  • Use problem solving skills
  • Apply economic principles to the analysis of labour market issues;
  • Make a critical evaluation of current policy debates in the area
  • Improve your written and oral communication skills


The module aims to relate both theory and evidence to key policy issues. The module reviews key developments in modern labour markets. It takes as its starting point the theory of competitive labour markets, analysing the role of demand and supply factors in determining the wage structure. We analyse the role of investment in education and training in determining the interpersonal wage structure. The second part of the module focuses on those aspects of the labour market that are more difficult to explain in terms of standard competitive theory. We look at imperfectly competitive labour markets; we explore the implications of imperfect information for the operation of the labour market and the role of various labour market institutions. We will be looking at different methods used in this area, from economic theory to empirical and, possibly, experimental methods.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and small group sessions.

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

To be assigned during the academic year. 

Labor Economics. 

Material on Blackboard: videos, readings, etc.. 


Assessment Strategy

Final Assessment (70% of the final mark), a group video presentation (20%) and continuous successful participation in class (10%). In the event of you having to re-sit this unit, your presentation and participation marks will not be carried forward


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 70%
Participation 10%
Video 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Prerequisites: ECON1002 AND (ECON1001 OR ECON1003)


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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