3.00 credit hours
This course is about the economics of work and pay. We will take a comprehensive look at labor markets in the U.S. and other advanced countries and examine related social policy issues. This will include the effect of unions on wages, the underpinnings of the income distribution of the U.S., issues of poverty and welfare, discrimination and wage differential by gender and race, the relationship between work and family, education as a determinant of wages, and the way firms use wage and employment practices to motivate their employees to work productively. What makes labor economics special is that the commodity we examine is human labor, something that is central to the organization of our lives and the functioning of the economy. Labor economics thus applies the standard neoclassical model of demand, supply, and equilibrium to many areas that also have a profound human dimension.