Chair of Labour Economics


    Winter Semester 2021/22


    Dr. Judith Saurer


    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.

    Exam no.: 326289 - Topics in Migration
    Exam no.: 319959 - Ökonomie des Arbeitsmarktes


    Dr. Patrick Schneider

    Exam no.: 326222 - Experimental Economics
    Exam no.: 320114 -
    Sozialpolitische Übungen


    Structure and content

    The aim of this course is to prepare students on conducting their own empirical research project. This term, we will focus on randomized control trials (RCTs), the gold standard of causal analysis.

    In the first part of the course, we will introduce the theoretical toolkit necessary to understand how field experiments work and how to design, implement and evaluate them. The topics covered will be as follows:

    1. The purpose of RCTs (Prof. Christina Felfe de Ormeno)

    Reading Duflo et al (2007), Chapter 2

    1. The design of RCTs (Corinna Birner)

    Reading: Duflo et al. (2007), Chapter 4 &5

    1. Implementation of an RCT (Maike Schlosser)

    Reading: Duflo et al. (2007), Chapter 3, 6 & 7

    1. Analysis and interpretation of RCTS (Prateek Bhan)

    Reading: Duflo et al. (2007), Chapter 8

    In the second part, students will present applications of RCTs. The focus will lie on RCTs conducted with children. The list of papers students can choose from can be found below.


    Regular and active participation is expected (20%). Evaluation will consist of a presentation (40%) and a critical report of a scientific paper (40%).


    Basic knowledge in microeconomics and econometrics is desirable.

    General comment

    The course is open for students at all level, from Bachelor, Master, PhD to Postdoctoral students. In the beginning this might be challenging, but empirical research and in particular, RCTs requires and lives from big teams consisting of members from all academic levels. As such, let’s try it out.

    Essential readings

    Duflo, Glennerster and Kremer (2007) “Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit.” CEPR Working Paper 6059. http://econ-www.mit.edu/files/806

    Khandker et al. (2010) Handbook of Impact Evaluation, Chapter 3: Randomization, https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/2693

    Exam no.: 326309 - Advanced Seminar: Labour Economics

    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.