50:220:313 (3 credits)

Instructor contact information:

Joseph Shinn, Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Economics
Armitage Hall, Room 332
311 North 5th Street
Camden, NJ 08102, USA
Phone: (856) 225-6290
Email: js2398@camden.rutgers.edu (preferred method of contact)


Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics

Required Textbook

Modern Labor Economics: Theory and Public Policy, 12th Edition By Ronald Ehrenberg and Robert Smith.  Taylor & Francis Publishing, 2016, ISBN # 978-0-13-346278-4. 

Course Description

Examines the nature of labor market equilibrium. Topics include fertility and migration, the allocation of time and occupational choice, human capital, and discrimination. After taking this course, students will be able to understand, apply, comprehend, investigate, construct and evaluation a variety of economics topics that relate to the labor market.

Learning Objectives

This course will study the theories of labor markets. Covered topics include:

  1. An overview of the labor market.
  2. Theories of labor supply and labor demand.
  3. How labor supply and demand are affected by changes in pay.
  4. Household production.
  5. Wage differentials and the impacts of training, immigration, discrimination, and productivity on pay. 

Course Grades

The Course Grade will be determined by the following:

  • Problem Sets:25%
  • Midterm Exam:35%
  • Cumulative Final Exam:40%

Grading Scale:

  • A 90+
  • B+ 85% – 89.99
  • B 80% – 84.99%
  • C+ 75% – 79.99
  • C 70% – 74.99%
  • D 60% – 69.99%
  • F Below 60%

Problem Sets

Sets of problems will be given throughout the semester as we get to certain points in the material.  The questions will be chosen from the book. No late submissions will be accepted. If you do not hand in the assignment on time, you will receive a zero.


The exams will be given on the assigned days.   The midterm will be worth 35%.  The final exam is worth 40% and is cumulative, with emphasis on the 2nd portion of the class. 

Exams Policy

  1. Missing an exam is serious.
  2. Midterm Exam – The midterm is a take-home exam. No make-up exams will be administered if a midterm is missed. Excused absences for the midterm will be granted only for students with acceptable written documentation of hospitalization, etc. Students missing a midterm without a valid documented reason will receive a zero. The weight of the midterm in the grade calculation will fall on the final exam if a midterm is missed for an excused reason.
  3. Final Exam – The final exam is worth 40% and is cumulative, open book, with emphasis on the 2nd portion of the class.
  4. Do not make plans to leave campus before the final exam. Everyone is to take the final exam at the same time according to the University’s posted schedule for final exams. 

Academic Integrity

The consequences of scholastic dishonesty are very serious. You are responsible for reading and understanding our policy on academic integrity policy, available from the Rutgers Academic Integrity website. Academic integrity means, among other things, that all Rutgers students are required to:

  • properly acknowledge and cite all use of the ideas, results, or words of others
  • properly acknowledge all contributors to a given piece of work
  • make sure that all work submitted as his or her own in a course or other academic activity is produced without the aid of unsanctioned materials or unsanctioned collaboration
  • treat all other students in an ethical manner, respecting their integrity and right to pursue their educational goals without interference. This requires that a student neither facilitate academic dishonesty by others nor obstruct their academic progress

Students with Disabilities

Students who have a diagnosed disability on file with the Office of Disability Services are eligible for accommodations, as specified by the University. Please contact the Office of Disability Services at 856-225-6442 if you need to begin the process of receiving accommodations. Students who do not have a letter of accommodation from the university will not be eligible to receive accommodations in this course.

Course Topics – Covered in the following order

 Part I: Introduction

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Overview of the Labor Market

Part II: Supply and Demand of the Labor Market

Chapter 3: The Demand for Labor

Chapter 4:  Labor Demand Elasticities

Chapter 5: Frictions in the Labor Market

Chapter 6: Supply of Labor to the Economy: The Decision to Work

Chapter 7: Labor Supply:  Household Production, The Family, and the Life Cycle

Part III: Wages and Training

Chapter 8:  Compensating Wage Differentials and Labor Markets

Chapter 11: Pay and Productivity: Wage Determination Within the Firm

Chapter 9:  Investment in Human Capital: Education and Training

Part IV: Other Topics (Will get through as many chapters as possible, time permitting)

Chapter 10:  Worker Mobility: Migration, Immigration, and Turnover

Chapter 12:  Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Labor Market

Chapter 13:  Unions and the Labor Market

Chapter 14:  Unemployment

Chapter 15: Inequality in Earnings

Chapter 16:  The Labor Market Effects of International Trade and Production Sharing