Labour economics focuses on the functioning of the labour markets both theoretically and empirically. The Department's main research topics in Labour economics include the design of optimal labour market institutions (such as employment protection legislation), the effects of Labour market institutions on market outcomes (such as fixed-term contracts), and economics of the family.
Departmental Labour researchers are associated with the main Labour programmes in Europe: Institute for the Study of Labour, Centre for Economic Policy Research, and Centre for Economic Performance-London School of Economics.
Several conferences bringing together Labour economists from European and US universities have been hosted by the UPF Econoics and Business department, for instance, the conference on Technology and Employment, and the conference on Unemployment in Transition Economies.
Although Public Sector Economics accounts for less than 50% of the undergraduate curricula, it is a very large area of teaching and research. This includes Public Finance, Economics of Taxation, Welfare Economics, Local Finance, Public Management, Social Security, Analysis of Public Policy, and other related topics. The main research areas are Fiscal Federalism, Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth and Redistribution. The Department also organises joint Seminars on Labour Economics and Public Finance on a regular basis.
In addition to traditional Public Economics, some faculty are leading actors in the field of Health Economics, with an important influence on the International Health Economics Association Board and the Spanish Health Economics Association.
Health economics has emerged as a field of study over the last two decades. From institutional organisation and finance, the field has evolved to a situation where a set of distinctive economic principles are systematically applied to a wide variety of health related issues: technology assessment, supplier induced demand, social insurance and regulation, and competition in health markets, amongst others. These are some of the research areas represented in the Centre for Research on Economics and Health (CRES), created in 1996.
A Workshop on Health Economics is organised by CRES and scheduled meetings on Fiscal Federalism are held on a regular basis.