Economics of labour markets

Crawford School of Public Policy | Executive course
Economics, Data Analysis and Decision Making


This course will develop your skills to understand basic theoretical and empirical concepts of labour economics. You will learn why workers in different jobs earn different wages, comprehend the role of education in shaping the distribution of wages, learn about labour mobility and international labour migration, and understand the causes and consequences of labour market discrimination.

The course will develop your analytical skills and allow you to use fundamental mechanisms of labour market theory to derive predictions about effects of changes in labour supply and labour demand on wages and employment. The course will also improve your ability to read and interpret empirical research findings in the field of labour economics.

Course date: 
9.30am–4.30pm 11 September 2019
9.30am–4.30pm 12 September 2019
#132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Course overview

Many public policy issues concern the labour market experiences of particular groups of workers or various aspects of the employment relationship between workers and firms. Policy-makers need an understanding of the functioning of the labour market to make informed decisions.

The workshop will cover eight main areas:

  1. Introduction to labour economics
  2. Labour supply and labour demand
  3. Empirical tools of labour economics
  4. Labour market policy evaluation
  5. Human capital
  6. Wage inequality
  7. Labour mobility
  8. Labour market discrimination

The first day of this course will give an introduction to concepts of labour economics, explain some key features of labour supply and labour demand and discuss relevant empirical tools of labour economics and labour market policy evaluation.

The second day will cover human capital and the link between education and wages, explain the causes of wage inequality, provide an overview of the most important issues related to labour mobility and international labour migration, and discuss causes and consequences of labour market discrimination.

The course will provide participants with the knowledge they require to derive basic conclusions regarding a wide range of issues related to labour economics. The course will combine intuitive explanations with practical examples. The course is suitable for beginners and as a refresher for those with an economics background.

Course presenter(s)

Associate Professor Mathias Sinning

Mathias Sinning is an Associate Professor at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy. He has previously held academic appointments at the ANU and the University of Queensland and has been a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University. Mathias is interested in the empirical analysis of issues related to labor economics, public economics and policy evaluation. He has published empirical research in a wide range of international peer-reviewed journals, including Economics of Education Review, Economic Inquiry, Health Economics, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Population Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics and Review of Income and Wealth. Mathias has extensive experience in applying experimental and non-experimental methods to questions in the field of labour economics and has worked with government departments on a range of projects, including on issues related to labour economics, education and migration.

Updated:  24 March 2017/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team