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ECON301 Labour Economics

Labour markets, labour supply, labour demand, wage determination, inflation and unemployment. Specific New Zealand labour market issues are also addressed.

Labour economics studies how labour markets work. The labour market is undoubtedly the most important market that impacts directly on almost all of us for a significant period of our lives. This paper aims to introduce students to key theories, issues and problems in the analysis of labour markets. It uses microeconomic and macroeconomic theory to increase understanding of labour demand, labour supply and labour market outcomes. It addresses issues associated with changes in participation rates, the effect of minimum wage rates, the impact of unions, income inequality and labour market discrimination and also looks at a historical analysis of New Zealand's labour market legislation. The internal assessments and final exam will test whether or not the student can analyse issues in labour economics critically using relevant economic principles and theory.

Paper title Labour Economics
Paper code ECON301
Subject Economics
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $912.00
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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ECON 201 or ECON 271
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Commerce, Science
Teaching staff

Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Arlene Ozanne


Labor Economics, 2020, 8th edition, by George J. Borjas, McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper should:

  • Have a general understanding of how labour markets operate
  • Develop both knowledge and appreciation of applying general economic principles and theory in evaluating behaviour and interactions in the labour market
  • Be able to use quantitative data and develop qualitative analysis to explain how labour market outcomes change over time
  • Learn to analyse current issues and policy debates in this area and be able to assess and critique labour market policies from a more knowledgeable perspective

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16-22
Tuesday 14:00-14:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
Wednesday 15:00-15:50 9-14, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A2 Thursday 13:00-13:50 11, 13, 16, 18, 20-22
A3 Thursday 14:00-14:50 11, 13, 16, 18, 20-22