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Card-index course

Inequality, work and careers

Inégalités, travail et carrières

Responsible Faculty: Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (SSP)

Teacher(s): Daniel Oesch, Amal Tawfik
Lecturer(s): -

Validity: 2018 -> 2019

No timetable defined.


Spring semester
6 hours per week
84 hours per semester

Teaching language(s): French
Public: Yes
Credits: 0


The course has the following learning objectives for students

In terms of specific skills, the course must enable students to:
- apply the main concepts used in the labour market analysis
- identify the main causes of unemployment
- assess the main policy instruments for reducing unemployment and inequality

At the level of general skills, the course must enable students to:
- make clear and concise oral presentations
- read and understand scientific articles in English
- write a concise research note, based on theoretical and empirical elements
- use basic statistical tools to analyse data from a statistical survey


The course theme
This course focuses on inequalities and transitions in the Swiss and European labour markets. Emphasis will be placed on analysing the transition from school to work and the causes and effects of unemployment. We will thus focus on phenomena such as professional integration, interrupted careers, minimum wages, long-term unemployment, globalisation or labour migration.

Teaching philosophy
This course is based on the premise that learning is only effective if students can take ownership of the course material themselves. They - and not the teachers - are the main actors in their learning. This course offers many activities led by the students: personal reading, presentation of texts and discussion moderation, forums on Moodle, practical work in the course and in the computer room, written work.

Modality of teaching
The course topics are further developed through four activities: (i) discussion of academic literature (by students); (ii) presentation of the main concepts of labour market analysis (by teachers); (iii) analysis of the Survey of University Graduates; (iv) discussion with experts from the professional world. Specialists in vocational integration, vocational guidance and the fight against unemployment will be invited to attend the course.


The final grade is based on four elements:

i. written term paper: 50% of the final grade

ii. the two oral presentations as well as the quality of the questions asked on Moodle; for the presentation of the text: 20%, for the presentation of the written work: 20%, for the quality of the questions asked on Moodle: 10%.

iii. a bonus obtained in an optional MCQ test: the test will take place in the last week of the term and will cover the material seen in class and the readings; a very good performance gives a bonus of 0.5 (0.25) point on the final grade.

iv. a bonus or malus linked to the exercises (bonus): the course provides a total of 17 exercises - 8 in classes and 9 in computer rooms; the completion of 17 (16) exercises offers a bonus of 0.5 (0.25) point on the final grade; when the student performs less than 13 exercises, this results in a 0.25 point malus on the final grade for each less exercise.


Bonoli, G. (2010), "The Political Economy of Active Labor-Market Policy", Politics & Society 38(4): 435-457. Bonoli, G. and Hinrichs, K. (2012). "Statistical discrimination and employers' recruitment", European Societies 14(3): 338-361. Chauvin, S. (2010). "Introduction". Dans : Chauvin, S. Les agences de la précarité. Journaliers à Chicago, Paris : Seuil, pp. 9-37. Fernández-Macías, E. (2018). "Automation, digitalisation and platforms: Implications for work and employment," Eurofound, Dublin, 1-26. Flückiger, Y. (2002), « Le chômage en Suisse : causes, évolution et efficacité des mesures actives », Aspects de la Sécurité Sociale 4 : 11-21. Marchal E. et Bureau M.-C. (2009), « Incertitudes et médiations au coeur du marché du travail », Revue française de sociologie 50(3) 573-598. Schulten, T., Müller, T. et Eldring, L. (2015). Prospects and obstacles of a European minimum wage policy. Van Gyes, G. et Schulten, T. (eds.). Wage bargaining under the new European Economic Governance: Alternative strategies for inclusive growth. 327-359, Bruxelles: ETUI. Young, C. and Lim, C. (2014), "Time as a Network Good: Evidence from Unemployment and the Standard Workweek." Sociological Science 1: 10-27.

Additional information


Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15