Fall 2020 - ECON 881 G100

Labor Economics (4)

Class Number: 2461

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: Wed, 10:30–11:20 a.m.

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: Fri, 3:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    ECON 835.



Theoretical analysis of labor in the context of a national resource. Critical examination of the aspects of quantity, quality, allocation and utilization of human resources. Topics given particular attention include labor force participation, structural employment, human capital, incomes policies and the concept of an active manpower policy.


This is a graduate course in labour economics, appropriate for graduate students in the Department of Economics and other students with appropriate preparation in microeconomic theory and econometrics. The course teaches core topics in the field of labor economics as well as empirical methods for applied microeconomic analysis.  Time permitting, topics will include: methods of causal inference; labour supply; human capital and the returns to education; wage inequality and labour market institutions; group differences in wages and labour market discrimination; and social mobility.


  • Class presentation(s) 25%
  • Paper proposal / literature review 25%
  • Paper 50%



D. Angrist and J.-S. Pischke “Mostly Harmless Econometrics: an Empiricist’s Companion,” Princeton University Press (2008).

In addition to the required text, we will read a lot of papers. You will each be responsible for presenting some of these papers to the class.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).