Master in Applied Labour Economics for Development

This master responds to the need for more diverse expertise in the design and evaluation of policies in which international labour standards and fundamental rights at work go hand-in-hand with job creation and productive employment. It is intended to prepare participants to become experts in designing, analysing and evaluating policies that place employment at the heart of economic, social and development policy-making. The course will combine rigorous training in analytical and quantitative economic methods with an emphasis on what constitutes an appropriate policy, the legal and institutional framework for employment and decent work in different development contexts.

Master in Applied Labour Economics for Development

Deadline for application: 03 September 2017

Starting date: 23 October 2017


23 October 2017 - 31 December 2018


Master Information

Deadline for application: 03 September 2017

Starting date: 23 October 2017


23 October 2017 - 31 December 2018


Module A

A1 - Economics of labour markets

  • Macroeconomics and monetary policies - Errol D'Souza (Indian Institute of Management)
  • Labour market theory - Silvia Pasqua (University of Turin)

A2 - Development economics

  • Development economics: an overview - Iyanatul Islam (Griffith Asia Institute and SANEM)
  • Poverty and Inequality - Daniel Kostzer (ILO) 
  • Informality - Frédéric Lapeyre (ILO)
  • Sustainable development -  Silvana Dalmazzone (University of Turin) 


Macroeconomics and monetary policies

In this part of the course you will be introduced to the basic concern of modern macroeconomics – its focus on choices in an inter-temporal setting in the context of three markets: output of goods market, the financial market, and the labour market. In the process we shall focus on a major feature of modern economies – the existence and persistence of unemployment – and the tools essential for an understanding of such a phenomenon.

Labour market theory

The aim of the course is to provide the basic knowledge of economics theory of labour demand and supply, equilibrium on the labour market and wage determination. A specific focus will be dedicated to labour market policies, education and training, wage discrimination, unemployment and labour unions.

Development economics: an overview

This course seeks to introduce students to leading issues in development economics and sets the broad context within which in-depth coverage of selected topics can be undertaken. The course commences with the theme of conceptualising and measuring development, with specific emphasis on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their evolution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will define the landscape of development assistance for the next 15 years. The course introduces students to some iconic models of growth and development with particular emphasis on salient analytical frameworks that deal with the role of the labour market in the process of structural transformation. The course encourages students to engage critically with a series of debates pertaining to trade policy and development that dominated the 1970s, the legacy of structural adjustment programmes which prevailed during the 1980s and the 1990s, and the contemporary discourse on premature de-industrialisation as well as the middle income trap. Empirical approaches to development economics are discussed from the perspective of cross-country regressions and randomized control trials. The course concludes with a forward-looking view on the evolution of development economics both as a research agenda and a paradigm for policy-makers.

As regards the teaching methodology, there will be combination of formal lectures with group-based discussions built around review questions. 

Poverty and inequality

The course will focus on:

  • Understanding of the concept of inequality, focusing on the labor market. Multiple dimension of the inequality both from the supply and the demand side of the labor market and a first overview on the usual indicators of the labor market and how inequality is embedded into them;

  • The broad scope of inequality and its evolution during the last decades. Differences between income and wealth inequality and its implications for the process of policy-making.  Stages of income distribution and its considerations. Theoretical analysis of the causes of inequality both at macro and micro level and its linkages. How can be approached the problem of labor market inequality from a multidimensional framework;

  • Toolbox for the quantitative analysis of inequality. Organizing data and interpreting;

  • Another “twist” on wage differentials. A human capital approach and a Keynesian approach. A structuralist analysis of inequalities in a globalized world;

  • How inequality can be analyzed and liked to changes over time. A dynamic ma non troppo of inequality;

  • Examples of compound indexes that include inequality as a component. Uses and abuses;

  • Definition of poverty: what is poverty? Concepts around deprivation;

  • Measurement of poverty: the indirect approach (advantages and disadvantages), the direct approach (unfulfilled basic needs or social indicators) and combination of methods (the Katzman matrix);

  • Poverty-growth-income distribution: a triangle;

  • Labor Market and Poverty;

  • Labor Market Policies to change poverty and income distribution.


The adoption of Recommendation 204 constitutes a historic landmark for the world of work as it is the first standard focusing exclusively on the informal economy in its entirety. Indeed, the informal economy comprises more than half of the global labour force and more than 90 per cent of the MSEs. It is of signifi cance not only to ILO constituents but for all those who are concerned with inclusive development, poverty eradication, reducing inequalities and who are looking forward to a strong focus on the goal of decent work for all in the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where formalization has a key role to play to achieve Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

This module aims at:

  • providing a critical review of current policy debate on the informal economy and stresses the need to reformulate questions of policy intervention in a way that facilitate transition to formality;
  • discussing key actions interventions highlighted in R204 to promote the transition to formal economy
  • assessing promising formalisation experiences and practices from regions and countries;
  • brainstorming on new perspectives in relation to assisting countries in their formalisation processes through integrated strategies.

The expected results through this module are:

  1. Knowledge base of the nature, pattern and effectiveness and sequencing of policy packages for transitions to formality is enhanced and available to participants;
  2. Comparative knowledge about practical implementation of policy measures that facilitate transition from the informal to the formal economy is enhanced.

Sustainable development

Sustainability and green economy reforms in developing countries

1.  The origins of the sustainability problem
1.1 Economy-environment interdependence
1.2 The economic value of ecosystem services
1.3 Drivers of environmental impact
1.4 Poverty, inequality and the environment
1.5 Limits to growth and sustainable development
1.6 The relationship between economic growth and environmental degradation. The Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis

2. The potential for green economy reforms in developing countries
2.1 Economic instruments for environmental protection
2.2 Environmentally oriented energy taxation
- removing environmentally harmful subsidies. How do subsidies to fossil fuels work in practice? The example of Ghana
- internalizing local pollution damages of transport fuels
- a carbon tax to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.  Carbon tax and incentives to renewable energies: Simulation for Mauritius
2.3 Environmental fiscal reforms: who gains and who loses?
2.4 Other sectorial policies: water and waste

3. Green jobs
- Defining and counting green jobs
- The potential employment impact of transitions to renewable energies.

International Training Centre of the ILO

Viale Maestri del Lavoro, 10
10127 Turin - Italy

Contact us