14.64 Labor Economics and Public Policy

Spring 2006

Plot of taxable earnings by whites and nonwhites born 1950-53.
The figure plots the history of FICA taxable earnings for the four cohorts born 1950-1953. For each cohort, separate lines are drawn for draft-eligible and draft-ineligible men. Plotted points show average real (1978) earnings of working men born in 1953, real earnings + $3000 for men born in 1950, real earnings + $2000 for men born in 1951, and real earnings + $1000 for men born in 1952. Figure 1 in "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records" by Joshua Angrist, American Economic Review (December 1990): 1284-1286. (Image courtesty of American Economic Association. Used with permission.)

Course Highlights

This course features an extensive list of readings and all of its assignments.

Course Description

The course is an introduction to the field of Labor Economics, with an eye to helping students think critically about research and public policy. The emphasis is on applied microeconomics and empirical analysis. Topics to be covered include: labor supply and demand, taxes and transfers, human capital, minimum wages, income distribution, unions and strikes, immigration, incentives, discrimination, unemployment and unemployment insurance.

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .dta.

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Prof. Joshua Angrist

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session

One session / week
1 hour / session