Seminar: Macro Labour Economics - CANCELLED

Course content

This course will primarily be based on search & matching models of the labour market. These models are designed to explain the existence of unemployment and of wage dispersion across similar workers. Several policy issues can be addressed using these models, cf. the list of subjects below.

The aim of this seminar is for the students to write and present a seminar paper that documents an in-depth theoretical and/or empirical research-based investigation of a specific topic within the intersection of macroeconomics and labour economics.


MSc programme of Economics
The seminar is primary for students at the MSc of Economics

Learning outcome

Potential subjects include (but are in no way restricted to):

  • What is the optimal design of the unemployment insurance system?
    • Should unemployment insurance be business cycle dependent?
  • How do unemployment insurance systems vary across countries? And why?
  • What are the labour market effects of introducing in-work-benefits (a la the Danish Beskæftigelsesfradrag)?
  • How can workfare (activation) be useful in achieving an improved trade-off between incentives and insurance?
  • Why are similar workers paid differently?
  • Is the search-matching model able to explain stylized business cycle facts?
  • Is the search-matching model a useful description of labour markets, or do there exist alternative models that perform better?


All subjects can be addressed within a search-match framework, but other model frameworks are also welcomed.

Introductory lecture in the beginning of September. The students must submit a project proposal and the students and the lecturer correspond on the proposal. The students will Work with ther paper and present their paper in front of the class, followed by a discussion by a discussant and a general discussion (5 minutes).

First meeting: September 5, 2016 13-15 (1pm-3pm)

For those unfamiliar with search & matching models, a good starting point would be

  • Pissarides, Christopher (2000), Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd edition, MIT Press, 2000
  • Rogerson, Richard, Robert Shimer and Randall Wright (2005), Search-Theoretic Models of the Labor Market: A Survey, Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. XLIII, pp. 959–988.

Having followed Labour Economics may be an advantage, but is not a prerequisite. It is, however, a necessity to have high-level analytical skills and economic intuition.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
A written seminar paper in English.
All aids allowed

All papers in the seminar are allowed.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
up to 20 % censorship at the seminarpaper
Criteria for exam assessment

The student must in a satisfactory way demonstrate that he/she has mastered the learning outcome of the course.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Seminar
  • 18
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Project work
  • 187
  • English
  • 206