ECON 376(S) The Economics of Labor

This seminar will explore the workings of U.S. labor markets with an emphasis on workers and their wages. Theoretical models and empirical research are used to explain the neoclassical economists' view of how wages are determined within labor markets. Challenges to the neoclassical view will also be discussed. The course will focus on the policy implications of the theories presented in class. Examples of the types of topics to be covered include: wage differences by race and gender, minimum wages, discrimination, the effect of trade and immigration on U.S. workers' wages, income inequality, and the increasing importance of higher education in determining earnings. Requirements will include at least one exam, a research paper, and a class presentation. Prerequisites: Economics 251 and 253 or 255 or permission of the instructor if student has not taken 253 or 255. Enrollment limited to 25. This course satisfies the Economics Department's alternative paradigms requirement.