Labor Economics

Dec 2019

Overall excellent Econ Elective class with a solid well-spoken professor and clear outline. Pros. 1 Organization : Professor Munasinghe is extremely clear in his organization, and has excellent class notes that he posts online. He almost never rambles on like some other professors, and even his interesting stories always find a way to link back to the materials. 2. Lecture style : Professor Munasinghe is extremely engaging as a Professor and loves to teach this topic. The classes became increasingly interesting as he finished the microecon parts and moved on to interesting labor theories. 3. The content : I feel like Labor Economics is one course that could be great for everybody. We are all going to enter the labor market one way or another, and the theories seem extremely useful for both entry-level employees and future managers. Also less mathy than most Econ-electives. Con. 1. Lecture Style (not really) As noted in earlier reviews, he is not the most reciprocal speaker, in that he often cuts off less-than-adequate answers or dumb questions asked by his students (including me). But I mean if the question or answer does not contribute anything to the class discussion, I think it is the Professor's right to move on. Overall it never bothered me and made for a smooth flowing class environment. If you can't stand someone telling you that you are wrong, and you always need a Professor to always say sth meaningless like "WOW that is an interesting opinion," take another professor.

Dec 2011

I took this course out of personal interest in labor econ, and I continue to be interested in the topic. Lena Edlund won't kill your interest in the topic, but she does serve a pretty big blow to student morale. Her lectures are relatively interesting, although her speech isn't riveting. Sometimes she'll spend too much time explaining one or two papers on a specific topic (ex: human capital development and education) instead of providing a broad overview of the scholarship. Some of the topics covered are expected (labor supply, monopsonies, etc) and some are unusual but interesting (ie, female labor supply and the pill). You'll come out of lecture with vague conceptions but not the entire story (or the ability to articulate it).

Jan 2006

Lalith is an engaging teacher, probably the most engaging econ teacher I have had yet. His lectures do not cover too much material, but they are still interesting -- people don't fall asleep in this class. He's also very good at explaining concepts clearly. When students are wrong, Lalith is unafraid to let them know, and he uses his response as an opportunity to further clarify the subject to the student and the rest of the class. Unfortunately, he often takes an antagonistic attitude with the class. He got upset if we interrupted his train of thought, told students they were wrong when they were right, and made sure that everyone knew when a student was entering the classroom late. That's his teaching style.

Dec 2005

Personality-wise, lalith doesn't fit the bill for an econ. professor. He's too cool. When he's not engaging the class in lively discussion about the subject he's going off on wonderful tangents about the economics of wine and wine-tasting (Q: Why is it that the billionaires who go to lalith's parties (where everyone brings a bottle of wine by definition)have the worst taste in wine? He'll teach you!). All econ majors interested in HR stuff should definitely take this class, and I'd say even my comp-lit friends should take this class, even if it'll only just refine their disdain for economists.

Dec 2005

I enjoyed this class. Lalith definitely knows his stuff about labor econ and applies the lecture material to real-life situations that make it that much easier to understand. The class got a little disorganized at times, probably because Lalith was a little overwhelmed by the class' size (my section was about 50 students--he said most previous sections had a little over 20). But in spite of that, I still think he did a good job.

Jan 2005

I (and everyone else in it) really enjoyed this class. Lalith is awesome. It def helped that it was a smallish class and everybody contributed a lot. The material is really interesting stuff that you can apply to all sorts of real world situations. Also, if you ask him to, he will post lecture notes on courseworks, which is really helpful when you're studying for the exam. I would def recommend this class.

Jan 2004

Who wrote that professor Edlund treats students like adults??? Her class is very boring and dull. She spends a lot of time going over obvious issues and skips all of the analytical parts of the course that actually do need explaining. But because she makes attendance mandatory and knows your name you have to suffer through her lectures. Furthermore, your performance on her tests is pure luck! They are not related to her lecture notes or the textbook so you are pretty much lost and on your own even if you do study. She ONLY grades your answers so there is NO partial credit. On the bright side, because everyone is as lost as you are, the curve is very low and you can manage an OK grade even if you learned absolutely nothing. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS IF: you want to learn, or if you want an easy A, or if you are actually interested in the material.

Dec 2003

Prof. Edlund is very middle-of-the-road. On the one hand, she runs the class as though it were high school: she takes attendance, learns your name, employs (relatively) current events, and frequently has the class pair off to discuss some topic or work on a problem. On the other hand, she realizes that her students are in fact adults, and she treats them as such. Her teaching style is not particularly thrilling, and she won't turn you on to labor economics (will anyone?)...but she is always happy to answer questions, and she'll even look up the answer on her own if she doesn't know right away. She's also very concerned with her performance - she gave two informal class evals in addition to the official one at the end of the semester, and she even videotaped a lecture or two (for her own personal use, of course). Overall, if you don't mind a little discussion with your lectures or the fact that class participation counts for 10% of your grade, you won't be disappointed.

Aug 2002

I guess I can see how the previous reviewer could get the impression of Prof. Munasinghe, because he's idiosyncratic and opinionated. But, in my opinion, he's also really cool. I think his attitude makes lectures interesting and fun. He's excellent at conveying subject matter, and I thought the course material was interesting. Yeah, he won't hide his antipathy towards whiners and grade grubbers... but s**t, those people piss me off too. If you get a kick out of seeing smart-asses being taken down a notch, then you'll like Munasinghe. In addition to having had him for this course, Munasinghe is also my major adviser, and I think he's f**king awesome: down-to-earth, accessible, will help you out in a jam, etc. He's kind of a smart-ass himself, but in a funny way; I don't know about this "indifferent and rude" stuff that the other person is talking about.... that hasn't been my experience at all.

Jul 2001

This class wasn't amazing, but it wasn't horrible either. Prof. Macunovich, while not an inspiring lecturer, is one of the nicest and most approachable professors I've had. The class was damn easy: 2 short papers, and she takes the questions for the midterm and final right from the textbook. There is very little in her lectures that isn't in the book. I skipped half the classes and still ended up with an A. Overall, a good class if you want an easygoing econ elective.