English   Danish

2018/2019  KAN-CPOLV4002U  Labour markets and inequalities

English Title
Labour markets and inequalities

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Second Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 100
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc i International Business and Politics, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Daniel Borowczyk-Martins - Department of Economics (ECON)
  • Janine Leschke - Department of International Economics, Governance and Business (EGB)
Main academic disciplines
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 06-09-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the concepts, theories and methods used to study labour market inequality.
  • Construct and interpret indicators of labour market inequality using relevant data sources.
  • Analyse how institutions shape labour market outcomes across countries.
  • Articulate theories explaining the sources of labour market inequalities.
  • Apply research designs used to estimate causal relationships.
  • Show analytical proficiency in handling research questions and in supporting theory-driven arguments with relevant empirical evidence.
Labour markets and inequalities:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the ordinary exam is failed, not handed in due to illness, or the student is a no-show the retake exam must include 5 extra pages.
Course content and structure

Inequality is a central issue of our times. A substantial part of economic inequality is due to phenomena specific to the labor market. Therefore, understanding labor market inequalities is crucial to map the causes of inequality.


This course combines economic, political science and sociological approaches to study how market forces, institutions and policies interact to produce inequality in the distribution of outcomes such as wages, employment and working conditions. The focus is on labour market inequalities in a range of European countries and the United States. We will present and discuss different facts, theories and methods relevant to understand the origins of labour market inequalities.


The overall aim of the course is to provide students with a rich understanding of the current theoretical and empirical research in labour markets. The course will enable students to conduct independent research on labour market topics, with a specific focus on inequalities. Students will be able to understand and contribute to both the economic and social policy debates in the field. The quantitative methods and data management skills learnt in the course are transferable to other settings, including work in governmental organizations and private firms.



  1. Market-based sources of individual wage differences.

  2. The role of the government in moderating wage inequality (e.g. minimum wage).

  3. The role of the collective bargaining in labor market inequalities.

  4. Gender inequality:

    1. Employer discrimination,

    2. Institutional constraints,

    3. Gender values.

  5. Migration flows and inequality

    1. The effects on the wage distribution of destination countries

    2. Differences in labor market outcomes between migrants and native workers.

Description of the teaching methods
The sessions combine lectures with exercise classes. The exercise classes focus on solving problem sets previously distributed to students, in-depth student discussions reflecting on the assigned academic readings and on using labour market data.
Feedback during the teaching period
We will provide feedback throughout the course, in particular during exercise classes and group discussions. Please also feel free to take full advantage of the office hours offered by full-time staff members, although these can never be a substitute for participation in lectures and classes. We also encourage you to ask questions or make comments in class and form self-study groups to secure peer feedback on your work.
Student workload
Lectures / Exercises 36 hours
Preparation / Exam 170 hours
Further Information

The course is part of theInequality Studies minor. It can be taken as a component of the minor or on a free - standing basis.



Expected literature

Academic articles from peer-reviewed journals in the field of labour economics and social policy, such as Quarterly Journal of Economics, American Economic Review, Econometrica, Socio-Economic Review, Work, Employment and Society, Journal of European Social Policy and European Journal of Industrial Relations


Selected chapters from:


  • Angrist and Pischke (2015) Mastering Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect, Princeton University Press.
  • Bamber, G. J. (2016) International and comparative employment relations: National regulation, global changes, London ; SAGE ; 2016
  • Cahuc, Carcillo and Zylberbeg (2014) Labor Economics, MIT Press, 2nd edition.
  • Ehrenberg and Smith (2017) Modern Labor Economics: Theory and Public Policy,  Routledge.
  • Farnham, D. (2015) The changing faces of employment relations: Global, comparative and theoretical perspectives, New York ; Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Greve, B. (2015) Welfare and the welfare state: Present and future, London: Routledge.

  • Van Kersbergen, Vis (2014) Comparative Welfare State Politics: Developments, Opportunities, and Reform, Cambridge University Press.

  • Wilkinson, A., Wood, G. and Deeg, R. (2015) The Oxford Handbook of Employment Relations: Comparative Employment Systems, Oxford University Press.

Last updated on 06-09-2018