Guías Académicas




Curso 2023/2024

1. Datos de la asignatura

(Fecha última modificación: 26-05-23 10:01)
Segundo Semestre
Economía e Historia Económica
Plataforma Virtual

Campus Virtual de la Universidad de Salamanca

Datos del profesorado

Miguel Ángel Malo Ocaña
Fac. Economía y Empresa
Economía e Historia Económica
Fundamentos del Análisis Económico
218 (FES building)
Horario de tutorías
By appointment (but usually on Wednesday evening)

2. Sentido de la materia en el plan de estudios

Bloque formativo al que pertenece la materia.

Module: Economic analysis. Subject: Applied economics.

Papel de la asignatura.

This course is organized around the main topics in economic analysis related to the labor market, with an emphasis on labour market policies.

Perfil profesional.

Considering the training trajectories of the Degree on Economics, this course belongs to a training trajectory on economics and public policies and on foundations of economic analysis. This course is highly recommended to develop a professional career with an intensive use of secondary data sources on applied economic issues.

3. Recomendaciones previas

It is not mandatory, but before being enrolled in this course we strongly recommend to follow Macroeconomics III, Microeconomics I, and Microeconomics II.

Language: English

4. Objetivo de la asignatura



1.         A clear written reasoning using the main theoretical concepts.

2.         Application of theoretical concepts to real labour markets.

3.         Interpretation of the empirical information on the labour market using the relevant theoretical models.

4.         Full autonomy to seek and find aggregate empirical information on the main empirical issues related to the labour market (employment, unemployment, wages, labour market institutions, etc.).

5. Contenidos



1. Empirical concepts of the labour market. Employment and unemployment: ILO definitions. Stocks and flows. Wages and labour costs.

2. The neoclassical model of the labour market. Equilibrium under perfect competition in labour markets. Equilibrium under imperfect competition in labour markets.

3. Labour market and the macroeconomy. Search models. Collective bargaining and wage determination. Equilibrium unemployment and the Beveridge curve. Insider-outsider models. Macroeconomic implications of collective bargaining. Efficiency wages: the labour discipline model.

4. Human Capital. Education, training, and labour supply. Investment in human capital. Education and labour market outcomes. General and specific training: from Becker to Acemoglu and Pischke. Cognitive and socio-emotional skills. Credentialism.

5. Wage differentials and pay schemes. Wage differences under perfect competition in the labour market: compensating wage differentials. Wage differences under imperfect competition in the labour market. Discrimination and wage differences: from the Becker’s model to the statistical discrimination models. Incentive pay schemes.

6. Government and the labour market. Legal regulation of the labour markets under perfect and imperfect competition. Endogenous regulation: private and public production of legal rules. Labour market reforms: institutional change and gradualism. Active and passive labour market policies: OECD and ILO classifications. Labour market policies in developed and developing economies.



1. Using the main empirical concepts. Stocks and flows. Rates and ratios.

2. International databases with labour market information. Micro-data and secondary sources.

3. Main issues related to the impact evaluation of labour market policies.

4. Design of labour market policies.

6. Competencias a adquirir

Básicas / Generales.

Specific and cross skills developed in this course will help students to fulfill the skills requirements described at the module ‘Economic Analysis’.

In detail, we will work the following skills:

Basic/General Skills.

CG1. Knowledge of the economic jargon.

CG2. Development of abstract thinking.

CG3. Understanding the economic problems using models.


CE1. Interpretation of the labour market models (micro and macro models).

CE2. Integration of the knowledge on labour market issues with the rest of courses, especially statistics and econometrics.

CE3. Analyzing the effects of the different labour market policies on the social partners operating in the labour market


CT1. Development of scientific criticism and self-criticism

CT2. Writing critical discussions of the statistical information related to the labor market.

CT3. Elaborating essays and written comments using correctly technical jargon.

CT4. Autonomous learning. 

CT5. Team work.

7. Metodologías

Teaching methodologies for training activities.



Activity 1. Presentations of the teacher about the theoretical concepts and the main tools of the economic analysis of labour markets. 

Teaching methodology: The teacher will explain the theoretical concepts promoting critical discussion. Materials to follow theoretical classes will be uploaded to the virtual platform one week before to promote active participation of students. This participation will be part of the learning evidence used in evaluations.

ECTS credits: 0,9 (at the classroom).

Related skills: Skills CG1, CG2, CG3, CE1, CE2 and CE3.


Activity 2. Analysis of cases (real or hypothetical, simplifying real labour market problems).

Teaching methodology: These classes will be highly participative. First, the teacher will briefly present the case (5-10 minutes). Then, the teacher will provide additional material (for example, detailed statistical figures) to the students, organized in small discussion groups. The discussion in small groups will last for around 20 minutes and the conclusions of the discussion will be summarized by a representative of each group. The teacher will promote the debate remarking agreements and disagreements of these summaries. Finally, the students write a short statement with a synthesis of the whole discussion. The teacher will collect these short essays and they will be part of the learning evidence for the course evaluation. To complete the active learning process, the teacher will periodically provide feedback (see activity 5).

ECTS credits: 0,36 (at the classroom).

Related skills: Skills CG1, CE2, CE3, CT1 and CT4.

Activity 3. Short essays and brief presentations on very specific labour market news by small groups.

Teaching methodology: The topics will be selected by the teacher considering those explicitly more interesting for the students. The teacher will collect this information thanks to a short survey launched in the first weeks of the course. The teams will be composed by 2 to 4 students. There will be 3 or 4 short essays during the whole course, and they will include a short presentation in class. The time to develop these short essays will be typically 2 weeks, and one additional week for the presentation. The use of statistical information will be highly valuable for the evaluation. In addition, the ability to seek information and presenting in a comprehensive and easy way will also be highly considered.

As part of the active learning process, the teacher will provide feedback during the presentations and in the follow-up seminars, if needed (see activity 5).

ECTS credits: 1,25 (non-classroom)

Related skills: Skills CE1, CE2, CE3, CT2, CT4 y CT5.


Activity 4. Solving exercises in the classroom

Teaching methodology: The student will work at the classroom applying the learnt concepts to real labour market problems. The class will be organized as in activity 2 (brief teacher’s presentation, discussion in small groups, and pooling conclusions with teacher’s feedback). With this activity, the students will reinforce their teamwork skills thanks to horizontal learning. At the end of the class, the teacher will collect the notes of the discussions, because they will be part of the learning evidence for evaluation.

ECTS credits: 0,24 (at the classroom).

Related skills: Skills CG2, CG3, CE1, CE2, CE3, CT1 y CT3.


Activity 5. Follow-up seminars in small groups.

Teaching methodology: These seminars will provide personalized feedback from the teacher. There will be two seminars per semester. They will be organized in small groups to improve the interactions between the teacher and students. The teacher will also inform to the students that in these seminars they can ask doubts about their learning process, the performance of the different activities, etc., but also about the different topics of the course.

ECTS credits: 0,3 (at the classroom).

Related skills: Skills CG1, CE1, CE2, CE3 y CT4.


Activity 6. Estudio individual y examen final escrito.

Teaching methodology: Although activities 2 to 5 try to facilitate the learning process of the students, individual reading of the handbook and recommended articles is crucial elements to have a Good command of the economic analysis of the labour market. The written exam is an additional training activity -the last one of the course. The students will have books and notes during the exam, avoiding learning just based on memory. The exam will consist of questions not analyzed before in the course, but the learning process will provide to the students with the necessary skills to face this challenge. Activity 4 (solving exercices) will allow to the students to be used to this type of exam. In fact, some exercices will questions of previous years exams. This strategy will eliminate a negative bias related to this type of exam, which is not very frequent at the undergraduate level.

ECTS credit: 2,95. 

Related skills: Skills CG1, CG2, CG3, CT1, CT2 y CT4

8. Previsión de Técnicas (Estrategias) Docentes

9. Recursos

Libros de consulta para el alumno.

McConnell, C.R., S.L. Brue, D. McPherson (2017): Contemporary Labour Economics, 11th edition, McGraw Hill. [Previous editions are also useful]

Borjas, G. (2016): Labor Economics (International Edition), 7th edition, McGraw Hill. [American editions are also useful]

ILO (2017): Quick guide on sources and uses of labour statistics. Department of statistics. International Labour Organization. Link:


Otras referencias bibliográficas, electrónicas o cualquier otro tipo de recurso.

Boeri, T., Van Ours, J. (2008): The Economics of Imperfect Labor Markets, Princeton University Press.

Booth, A. (1995): The Economics of Trade Unions, Cambridge University Press.

Cahuc, P., Carcillo, S., Zylberberg, A. (2014), Labor Economics, 2nd edition, MIT Press.

Garibaldi, P. (2006): Personnel Economics in Imperfect Labor Markets, Oxford University Press.

ILO (2017): Visualizing labour markets: A quick guide to charting labour statistics. Department of statistics. International Labour Organization.  Link:


Some useful web sites:

- Eurostat:

- International Labour Organization:

- OECD, employment outlook annual reports:


10. Evaluación

Consideraciones generales.

All evaluation trials are designed to check the acquired levels of all skills described in section 6. Therefore, all trials are described considering the link between the relevant skills and the evaluation of learning outcomes.

General considerations

The evaluation is based on the use of different learning evidences.  The evaluation of these evidences will include an explicit consideration if there is a positive time trend in the learning outcomes of the student. This trend is considered crucial for a successful learning process. The learning evidences are described following the activities described in the section on teaching methodologies.

Criterios de evaluación.

- The students must have a deep command of the main (theoretical and empirical) basic concepts. Evaluated skills: basic skills CG1, CG2 and CG3; specific skills CE1 and CE2; and cross skills CT1 and CT4. Evaluated learning outcome: 3 (interpretation of empirical information using models).

- The students must know how to apply theoretical concepts to real labour markets. Evaluated skills: basic skill CG1; specific skill CE2; and cross skills CT2, CT3, CT4 and CT5. Evaluated learning outcome: 2 (application of theoretical concepts to real labour market) and 4 (Full autonomy to seek and find aggregate empirical information on the main empirical issues related to the labour market).

- The students must understand the economic policy implications of theoretical models and how analyzing the effects of labour market policies. Evaluated skills: basic skill CG3; specific skill CE3; and cross skills CT1 to CT5. Evaluated learning outcome: 2 (application of theoretical concepts to real labour market) and 3 (interpretation of empirical information using models).

- The students must present their reasonings in a clear, coherent and precise manner. Evaluated skills: basic skills CG1 and CG2; specific skill CE1; and cross skills CT2 and CT3. Evaluated learning outcome: 1 (a clear written reasoning using the main theoretical concepts) and 4 (Full autonomy to seek and find aggregate empirical information on the main empirical issues related to the labour market).

Instrumentos de evaluación.

The rating system consists of adding points using the following evaluation tools:


- Continuous assessment (up to 4 points):

    * Oral presentations and short essays prepared by small groups.

    * Active participation in the classroom.


- Written exam (up to 6 points). As explained before, the students will complete this exam using books and notes to avoid learning exclusively based on memory.


The total score will be the sum of both partial scores. The student will pass this course obtaining at least 5 points (total). There is no any minimum to add the partial scores.

Those students not obtaining at least 5 points (total) can try again in a new written exam. Again, the total score will be the sum of both partial scores. Therefore, the score related with continuous assessment is the same in both opportunities

Recomendaciones para la evaluación.

There are no contents exclusively taught in practical classes and other topics in the theoretical classes. The continuous assessment and the written exam evaluate different skills but not different parts of the knowledge on labour market issues. As there are practical classes solving exercises of written exams of previous years, attending these classes will allow to the students a successful completion of the written exam.

Recomendaciones para la recuperación.

The second exam will be under the same conditions as the first one. The questions will be like the first written exam. Again, the total score will be the sum of the scores of the written exam and the continuous assessment. The score of the continuous assessment will be the same as in the first try. The evaluation criteria are exactly the same.