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CCOG for EC 216 Winter 2022

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Course Number:
EC 216
Course Title:
Labor Markets: Economics of Gender, Race, and Work
Credit Hours:
4
Lecture Hours:
40
Lecture/Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
0

Course Description

Covers topics related to labor markets with emphasis on the economic status of women and their decisions about work and family. Includes recent developments in the labor market; the gender pay gap and women-men occupational differences; labor supply decisions; human capital theory; racial discrimination; economics of marriage and household decisions. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Recommended: MTH 95. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Credits from this course qualify for general education purposes at Portland Community College and may be applied toward satisfying Associates Degree at PCC.  Books and other materials are at the discretion of each course instructor.  Prices for texts and/or other materials may be found at the Portland Community College bookstore. 

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Formulate independent conclusions about recent labor market trends and their implications for families and women in particular.
  2. Explain economic processes utilizing an understanding of the historical evolution of economic systems, institutions, and ideologies.
  3. Differentiate paradigmatic perspectives regarding the household as an economic unit, and how gender and the division of labor within the household affects labor supply decisions and income.
  4. Evaluate different public policy options for addressing the gender and race gaps and their causes with respect to income, occupation, and human capital differences.

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

General education philosophy statement

This course examines economic theories of labor markets. It requires students to reason, both qualitatively and quantitatively, about contemporary economic institutions and processes. These institutions and processes include, inter alia, work, production, and employment; consumption and the life process; property, entrepreneurship, and profit; socioeconomic stratification and discrimination. The focus of the course is on the ways in which the experiences of people are shaped by class, gender, and race, as well as other dimensions of identity and ideology With the knowledge students cultivate in this course, students gain the ability to conceptually organize their own experience of economic processes and discern its meaning. Furthermore, the course fosters an understanding of contemporary economic policy and politics with an aim to promote a sense of social responsibility and possibility.

Course Activities and Design

This course may be conducted through combinations of methods and tools which may include lectures; classroom discussions; group discussions; texts and supplementary readings; films; guest speakers and other classroom aids at the discretion of the instructor.

Students are required to attend classes regularly and complete their reading/writing assignments promptly.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

At the beginning of the course, the instructor will hand out a course syllabus, including the criteria for assigning a course grade. Different techniques may be used for assessment. They may include: multiple choice exams, essays, individual group projects, student demonstrations or presentations, research projects or other projects with specified rating criteria. Assessment techniques for processes may include: interviews, documented observations, web searches, journals, and student self-evaluations.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Subject Matter, Concepts, Themes, and Issues:

  • THE NATURE OF WOMEN AND MEN: A SOCIOBIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE
    • Role of sociobiology in explaining gender differences.
    • An historical perspective-the U.S. experience.
  • FAMILY AS AN ECONOMIC UNIT
    • The changing roles of women and men in our society.
    • The role of specialization and exchange and division of labor in the household.
    • The changing structure of the American family.
  • LABOR SUPPLY PARTICIPATION DECISIONS
    • Trends in labor supply participation for women and men.
    • Time allocation between household and the labor market.
  • OCCUPATIONAL SEGREGATION
    • Differences in occupations and earnings for women and men.
    • The human capital model.
  • THE ROLE OF LABOR MARKET DISCRIMINATION IN OCCUPATION AND EARNING DIFFERENCES.
  • RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
    • Trends in racial discrimination.
    • Changes in family structure among black Americans
    • Public policy and discrimination.
  • UNEMPLOYMENT
    • Measures of unemployment
    • Types of unemployment
    • Natural rate of unemployment
    • Unemployment policies
  • UNIONS AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
    • Unions in the U.S.
    • Unions in other countries
    • Union goals and objectives
    • Bargaining power and strikes
    • Effects of unions
  • RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE LABOR MARKET AND THEIR IMPACTS ON WOMEN AND MEN
    • Declining gender pay gap.
    • Corporate restructuring and job loss.
    • Growth in self-employment.
    • Changing face of labor unions.
  • PUBLIC POLICIES
    • Balancing work and family.
    • Family leave.
    • Flexible benefit plans.
    • Welfare and antipoverty programs.
  1. Be able to identify the changing forces, such as demographics, that shape the U.S. labor market trends.
  2. Explain the nature and causes of occupational segregation and the gender pay gap.
  3. Express the knowledge about factors that affect labor supply decisions for women vis-à-vis their men’s counterparts.
  4. Understand the household as an economic unit and explain their knowledge about the link between division of labor within the household and income or occupation.
  5. Be able to understand the trends in racial inequalities, and the changes in family structures among black Americans.
  6. Be able to understand the goals and objectives of unions and their effects in our economy.
  7. Explain the nature and causes of unemployment.

Instructor’s Qualifications:

A Masters degree in economics or a degree in a related discipline with at least 30 hours of graduate credits in economics. A background of coursework in labor economics is preferred.