Economics and labour
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Economics and Labour. Issues and Concepts. Work is a big part of our lives Why are you at school? What are they talking about when they talk about an economic crisis? Can you recall a union job action? Economics studies behaviour and markets

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Economics and Labour

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Economics and labour

Economics and Labour

Issues and Concepts


Economics and labour

  • Work is a big part of our lives

    • Why are you at school?

    • What are they talking about when they talk about an economic crisis?

    • Can you recall a union job action?

  • Economics studies behaviour and markets

    • What would an individual do if circumstances change?

    • Why do we see what wee see?

    • Equilibrium.

    • Labour market is just one of the many markets


Economics and labour

  • (super short) Introduction to Economics

  • IES!

  • We have preconceptions

  • Economists are just a bunch with common preconceived ideas = Economics paradigm

    • Unlimited wants

    • Scarce resources

    • Choice is a consequence of scarcity

    • Opportunity cost is a consequence of scarcity

    • Opportunity cost = too important to miss

    • Homo economicus = (smart) maximizer


Economics and labour

  • Economic systems

    • Traditional economies

    • Command economies

    • Market economies

    • Mixed economies

    • Why mixed?


Economics and labour

  • Some (a little) more techy stuff

    • Decision makers

      • Individuals

      • Households

      • Firms

    • Individuals/households maximize utility

      • Scarcity => maximize surplus

    • Firms maximize profits

      • Profits = surplus

      • Why profits? “Corporations are people, my friend!” ® Mitt Romney

    • Marginal reasoning

    • Marginal cost

    • Marginal benefit

    • Marginal revenue


Economics and labour

  • Labour markets are complex

    • Market equilibrium (a distilled picture)

      • Demand

      • Supply

      • Equilibrium

      • Efficiency of equilibrium

    • Institutions

      • A firm as a black box

      • Transaction costs

        • Internal labour market

        • Long term contracts

        • Labour contracts <= limitations from the government

        • Labour contracts <= limitations from the (national) unions

        • Labour contracts <= limitations from the set of rules/laws

    • Social forces

      • Traditional economy, eh?

      • Changes in social norms

        • Women labour market participation: two stories

        • Gender/sex/race/ethnicity/age/citizenship/disability

      • Have you heard about the US corporations hiring veterans?


Economics and labour

  • Policies and morals

    • Positive statements vs

    • Normative statements

    • Policy considerations are a mix of positive and normative


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