Introduction to Labour Economics

Commerce & Business Administration
Course Code
ECON 2280
Semester Length
15 Weeks X 4 Hours per Week = 60 Hours
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This introduction to labour economics develops an analytical framework for thinking about issues and policies related to the labour market. It will provide an overview of the institutional aspects and recent trends in the Canadian labour market. This course provides the student with an understanding of the demand for and supply of labour in the Canadian labour market and explains labour market participation. It examines the nature of the labour market by developing models to explain wage determination and issues relating to employment discrimination. Government policies towards wage setting, unemployment, education, and retraining will be discussed.
Course Content
  1. Labour force characteristics.
  2. Institutional aspects of the labour market.
  3. Employment.
  4. Unemployment and policy.
  5. Labour compensation, time allocation, and labour supply.
  6. Labour demand.
  7. Labour market models, equilibrium, and wage adjustment.
  8. Wage differentials, discrimination, and unions.
  9. Human capital, investment, and training.
Learning Activities

Lecture and seminar.

Means of Assessment

Minimum of three (3) evaluations and no one evaluation is worth more than 40%

Final Examination       30% - 40%
Term tests 30% - 70%
Essay   0% - 30%
Presentation   0% - 10%
Total         100%

Students may conduct research as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans, which can require obtaining Informed Consent from participants and getting the approval of the Douglas College Research Ethics Board prior to conducting the research.



Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  1. Explain the nature of labour demand and labour supply.
  2. Use labour market models to explain the behaviour workers and firms.
  3. Analyze a variety of public policy issues around labour in Canada.
  4. Identify and explain trends and patterns in the labour market.
  5. Explain reasons for labour migration.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of labour relations.
  7. Explain issues relating to wage differentials, education policy, and training.
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students as specified by Instructor.

Helmar Drost and H Richard Hird, An Introduction to the Canadian Labour Market, Latest Edition. Nelson.

Ehrenberg, R, R. Smith, and R. Cahykowski, Modern Labour Economics: Theory and Public Policy (Canadian edition), Latest Edition.  Addison-Wesley.

Benjamin, Dwayne, Morley Gunderson, and Craig Riddell, Labour Market Economics, Latest Edition. McGraw-Hill-Ryerson.




No corequisite courses.


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for ECON 2280
Coquitlam College (COQU) COQU ECON 203 (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU ECON 2280 (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG ECON 2280 (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU BUEC 280 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ECON 2XXX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO ECON 2nd (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV ECON 2nd (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ECON 2XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV ECON 1XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ECON 2XX (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU ECON 2nd (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023