Chair of Labour Economics


    Winter Semester 2022/23

    Lecturer: Dr. Judith Saurer

    Time: Monday 12:00 - 16:00 h
    Room 321

    24.10.2022: Introductory course

    Duration of the course: 07.11.2022 - 19.12.2022

    Block seminar: 13.01.2023 / 14.01.2023


    Aim and outline of the course:

    Migration has become a key issue in the political and public debate all over the world. Thus, economists increasingly engaged in studying determinants and consequences of migration as it has a substantial impact on receiving and sending countries. This course offers an introduction to the key concepts of migration economics and will cover the following topics:

    1)    Migration Decision and Forms of Migration
    2)    Effects on Migration on Employment and Wages
    3)    Effects of Migration on Attitudes and Political Economy
    4)    Integration and Integration Policies
    5)    Refugee Migration
    6)    Impacts of Emigration

    At the end of the course students are familiar with the basic theoretical and empirical concepts in the area of economics of migration. A special focus will be on the understanding of the identification of causal effects and the ability to connect links between the different areas of analysis.
    The course will consist of frontal teaching of the basic theoretical as well as empirical tools as well as a careful reading of some of the key scientific articles related to the outlined topics (a reading list will be provided at the beginning of the semester). At the end of the semester, students will have the opportunity to present their term papers.

    Solid background in Microeconomics and Econometrics is required

    The course will be based mostly on well-published scientific papers (they willbe made available via Wue Campus). For an overview of the topic please refer to the following books:

    • Bodvarsson Ö.B. and Van den Berg H., 2013, The Economics of Immigration: Theory and Policy, 2nd Edition, Springer
    • Borjas, G.J. 2014 Immigration Economics. Harvard University Press
    • Chiswick B.R. and Miller, P.W., 2015, Economics of International Migration

    Lecture notes will be provided additionally.

    Grading will be based on a presentation (30% of the grade) and a term paper (70% of the grade) on a selected topic in migration economics.


    Lecturer: Dr. Patrick Schneider

    Time: Wednesday and Thurday 10:00 - 14:00 h
    Room: 321

    The first ´course will take place in the seminar room 321 on Tuesday, 15.11, at 10:15 h.




    Prof. Christina Felfe de Ormeño, Ph.D.

    Update: The seminar will not take place in its usual form this semester. In case of interest please contact Prof. Felfe directly via email.

    Bachelor/Master Seminar Labor Economics: «Nobel Prize 2021 – The credibility revolution»

    Less people die while riding a motorbike than people die while lying in bed. Does this imply that beds are dangerous? While in this case, it may be straight forward to understand the statistical fallacy, there are plenty of other interesting questions in which it is hard to disentangle cause and effect.  For instance, it is complex to understand the causal effect of education on wages, minimum wages on employment, or immigration on employment, just to name a few relevant questions.

    The Nobel prize winners, David Card, Joshua Angrist, and Guido Imbens have developed a statistical toolkit to answer these questions. These causal analysis methods require curiosity to find settings that resemble the experimental ideal – so called natural experiments – and creativity to find the appropriate data. With a natural experiment and the appropriate data at hand the methods to be employed to provide causal answers to interesting and relevant questions are straight forward.

    In this seminar, students shall be acquainted with the intuition and the theory of the state-of-the-art causal analysis methods and familiarize themselves with these methods by working hands-on. The seminar will consist of theoretical lectures (5 in total) and a series of case studies where students will replicate original work by the Nobel prize winners in their early years. Students are expected to hand in their code (either in Stata or in R)!

    General information:

    The Chair of Labour Economics supervises Master's theses in the area of labour, education, and migration economics. Topics usually relate to actual policy concerns, examples are discrimination, early child development, education, integration of immigrants, labour supply, peer effects, just to name a few. Theses should be of empirical nature using either primary or secondary data. The thesis can be written either in German or English. For more information regarding the formal and content-related structure of the thesis, see: Thesis Guideline

    Former thesis‘ topics:

    • The impact of parental benefits on parental gender norms
    • Gender stereotypes and occupational decisions of adolescents
    • Intergenerational changes for migrants in Germany
    • Acceptance of a universal basic income
    • Incorporating social identity into economic analysis


    It is highly recommended to attend the master seminar, where the students can discuss their ideas, elaborate a literature review and familiarize themselves with the appropriate empirical methodology. The thesis will build on these skills.

    There is no list with prespecified topics, but each students approaches the chair with his or her own idea. Following a written application including a short description of the idea and the motivation as well as a transcript of courses and grades, conversations with the members of the chair will help to finetune the exact topic. A close supervision is guaranteed and desired throughout the whole process of thesis writing.