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The Economics of Large Metropolitan Labor Markets

Director: Derek C. Jones, the Irma M. and Robert D. Morris Professor of Economics (
In a dynamic and globalizing world, labor markets are experiencing profound changes. The structure of employment is continuously affected by technical change in the new economy leading to downsizing, outsourcing and in-sourcing. Employers seek to adjust their preferred skill mixes and their preferred human resource policies including the compensation policies that will best motivate different types of employees. Employees must choose appropriate levels of education and seek firms that provide preferred types of training. In many areas the nature and scope of change has special effects on vulnerable groups of workers, including new immigrants. We will study these and similar questions using New York City as a resource for learning about these issues. Two courses will be offered, both taught by Prof. Jones, one on labor economics and the other on employment and labor relations, and including several field trips and guest lecturers. Internship and Independent Study may focus on topics other than labor.

Prerequisites: Economics 101-102 are required.

College 395: Seminar: Labor Economics
Examination of selected theoretical and empirical questions concerning the labor market. Applications will focus on New York City. Topics to include: what are labor markets?; who participates in the labor market and how intensively? Labor demand; human resource and compensation systems in different sectors; labor unions in the private and public sectors; regulated and unregulated work in NY city; unemployment; membership in labor unions; economic effects of unions. Prerequisite 102. Not open to students who have taken Econ. 461/479. Economics concentrators and minors may receive one credit equivalent to Economics 370 toward their concentration or minor.

College 398: Hamilton in New York: Employment and Labor Relations in the Global City
An introduction to issues in the broad field of employment and labor relations. Definitions, methods and evolution of the field. The employment relationship and major institutions. Job security, working conditions, work-life balance, human resource management policies, including methods of compensation. Field trips to sites and cases to illustrate key historical events and contemporary issues.

College 396: Independent Study
A tutorial resulting in a substantial paper (30 pp) that integrates experience and learning from the internship with an academic perspective and knowledge gained in the seminars or other tutorial readings.

College 397: Internship
Work experience during four days a week that includes a journal or written account of that experience


Contact Name

Karen Boots

(on behalf of Professor Katheryn Doran, General Director)

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