Introduction to Labour Economics

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
ECON 2280
Introduction to Labour Economics
Commerce & Business Administration
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 Weeks X 4 Hours per Week = 60 Hours
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 3 Hours Seminar: 1 Hour Total: 4 Hours per week
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

Lecture and seminar.

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 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.
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.



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.


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

  • No equivalency courses