Labour Economics

Coordinator and lecturer: dr. S. Dobbelaere

Teaching assistant: Lennart Ziegler

  • Sabien Dobbelaere
    Sabien Dobbelaere
Sabien Dobbelaere


Personal website

Fields: Applied micro, Labor

Sabien Dobbelaere (PhD Ghent University) is associate professor (UHD) at the Department of Economics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Research Fellow at Tinbergen Institute (TI) and IZA. She received a PhD fellowship from the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) in 2000, a postdoctoral fellowship from the FWO in 2004 and a SEEK research grant from the ZEW in 2010. She held visiting research positions at CREST (Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique, Paris) and ZEW (Mannheim).

Research interests:

Her main research interests are applied microeconometrics and applied microeconomics, in particular wage and employment determination under imperfect competition, and firm productivity and pricing.

Classes taught:

She has been teaching microeconomics (100-level, 300-level) and labor economics (MSc level).

Personal website

Selected recent publications:

Dobbelaere S, Luttens RI. 2016. Gradual collective wage bargaining. Labour Economics 40: 37-42.

Bartelsman EJ, Dobbelaere S, Peters B. 2015. Allocation of human capital and innovation at the frontier: Firm-level evidence on Germany and the Netherlands. Industrial and Corporate Change 24(5): 875-949.

Dobbelaere S, Kiyota K, Mairesse J. 2015. Product and labor market imperfections and scale economies: Micro-evidence on France, Japan and the Netherlands. Journal of Comparative Economics 43(2): 290-322.

Dobbelaere S, Mairesse J. 2013. Panel data estimates of the production function and product and labor market imperfections. Journal of Applied Econometrics 28(1): 1-46.

Boulhol H, Dobbelaere S, Maioli S. 2011. Imports as product and labour market discipline. British Journal of Industrial Relations 49(2): 331-361.


Course objectives

The course covers a systematic development of theories of wage determination over the past decades. We focus on the two traditions of modelling wage determination in imperfectly competitive labor markets: ex post wage bargaining and ex ante wage posting. We study employment in a dynamic context, emphasizing the role of search frictions. We focus on the evolution of wage inequality and changes in the employment structure, taking into account the role of technological change, international competition and labor market institutions. These topics are politically and economically important and underscore a lot of modern labor economics. After the course, you will be able to:

* demonstrate a theoretical understanding of how labor markets operate.

* understand the recent developments of wage determination in imperfectly competitive labor markets.

* demonstrate an understanding of how technological change, globalization and institutional forces shape labor market performance.
* discuss critically existing empirical evidence.
* learn how to distinguish alternative theories empirically and how key parameters are obtained from data.

* perform own empirical analysis by means of a replication exercise.

* understand the crucial role of better data and a better match between theory and empirics in finding pertinent answers to societal and economic problems in contemporary labor markets.

Course content

This course will cover the following themes: (1) Development of labor economics research, (2) competitive labor market equilibrium, (3) collective bargaining, (4) monopsony, (5) imperfections in product and labor markets, (6) job search and matching and (7) technological change and polarization.

Course readings

The course material consists of selected main readings and chapters of the textbook “Cahuc P., Carcillo S. and A. Zylberberg. 2014. Labor Economics (2nd edition). MIT press”, and lecture slides.

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