Labour market, education and training

A.A. 2019/2020
Crediti massimi
Ore totali
SECS-P/01 SPS/09
Obiettivi formativi
Aim of the course is to provide students with the analytical skills needed for a scientific understanding of the functioning of contemporary labour markets and of their relation to the educational and vocational training systems. This will be done by approaching the topic from two disciplinary perspectives: Economic Sociology and Labour Economics. Concerning the former, students will be introduced to the study of social stratification, its changes over time and the role of education and vocational training in this process, both at the individual and the aggregate level. Concerning the latter, students will be introduced to the study of the wage distribution, its changes over time and countries, and the causal analysis of the relations linking education and labour market outcomes.
Risultati apprendimento attesi
Knowledge and understanding:
By the end of the course, students will have learned the foundations of both Economic Sociology and Labour Economics, from both a theoretical and an applied point of view. They will thus be able to study the functioning of the labour market and the job-matching process from two complementary perspectives: the micro perspective, looking at the matching between job and individual characteristics; and the macro perspective, which looks at the aggregate patterns of socio-economic inequality in comparison over time and space (international comparison).

Applying knowledge and understanding:
The theoretical and analytical skills provided by this course might be applied in a number of contexts, ranging from personnel management in corporations to social policy management to base and applied research in a number of social science disciplines.

Making judgements:
Students will learn how any statement on the labour market and its changes over time and space has to be supported by quantitative evidence, and how to judge scientific evidence from other forms of discourses on society, labour and corporations. They will thus be able to make informed judgements on both the functioning of the labour market and the public discourse concerning it.

Communication skills:
Students will learn how scientific communication works, clearly distinguishing the steps of scientific research: literature review; hypotheeis building; data collection; data analysis and discussion of the hypotheses. They will learn how to communicate the level of uncertainty of statistical estimations. They will thus be able to communicate scientific results in a way understandable to the laymen.

Learning skills:
Students will strengthen their analytic skills in general, and in particular will be provided with a general basic knowledge of the two disciplinary fields involved, in order to enable them to pursue additional specialized learning on its basis.
Programma e organizzazione didattica

Edizione unica

Primo trimestre
First module. Lectures will concentrate mainly on industrial societies, focusing on their structure of social inequalities in the school system (i.e. inequality of educational opportunities) and in the labor market. The final part of the course is devoted to group presentation, where students will present, comment and discuss the empirical research on social stratification and mobility in different countries.
Main topics: introduction to sociology (key sociological theories and research methods); overview of social stratification and inequality; basic processes of status attainment and social mobility; sociology of education; inequality of educational opportunities; returns to education; inequality of educational opportunities and social mobility.

Second module. Lectures will concentrate on the main economic models explaining the demand for education (human capital investment theory and signaling), issues related with the supply of education, educational financing, the return to education, and intergenerational mobility. There will also be some lectures devoted to the main statistical methods commonly used in Education and Labor Economics. In the final part of this module students will present in class some papers related to Education and Labor Economics.
First module. Sociology, and statistics for the social sciences.

Second module. Knowledge acquired in undergraduate courses of microeconomics, mathematics, statistics for the social sciences and econometrics is useful.
Metodi didattici
Lectures and student presentations (the latter for attending students only)
Materiale di riferimento
First module:
- Brint, S. G. (2006). Schools and societies. Stanford University Press.
- Hadjar, A. and Gross, C. (2016), Education systems and inequalities. Policy Press, introduction, chapters 1, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 15, conclusion.
- Bernardi, F., Ballarino, G. (2016), Education, Occupation and Social Origin: A comparative analysis of the transmission of socio-economic inequalities, Edgar Elgar, chapters 1, 9, 15, 16.
- Other compulsory readings will be provided during class (for attending students)
Additional readings
- Wright, E.O. ed. (2005), Approaches to Class Analysis, Cambridge University Press.
- Shavit, Y., & Blossfeld, H. P. (1993). Persistent Inequality: Changing Educational Attainment in Thirteen Countries. Social Inequality Series. Westview Press, 5500 Central Avenue, Boulder, CO 80301-2847.
- Shavit, Y., & Muller, W. (1998). From School to Work. A Comparative Study of Educational Qualifications and Occupational Destinations. Oxford University Press, 2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513.

Second module:
- Daniele Checchi, The Economics of Education. Human Capital, Family Background and Inequality, Cambridge University Press, last edition.
- A list of papers and additional material will be indicated in the ARIEL platform.
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
Course assessment for attending students ("frequentanti"):
First module. Written final exam.
Second module. Written final exam and student presentations.

Course assessment for non-attending students ("non frequentanti"):
Written final exam for both modules.
Lezioni: 80 ore
A causa dell'epidemia Covid-19 ill ricevimento, sia fisico che virtuale, ha luogo solo su appuntamento, da prendersi via mail.
Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali e Politiche - Stanza 5 primo piano (sopra il bar)
Mercoledì 15.00-17.00 su MS Teams salvo diverso avviso in questo sito (si prega di contattarmi per conferma). Office hours of Sept 30 postponed the same day at 17-19.
stanza 21 (DEMM, Via Conservatorio 7)