Department of Economics
School of Business and Economics
6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
I am an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics at Maastricht University.
I recently acquired a VIDI grant from NWO (the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) for the project "Noncognitive Skills, IQ and School Achievement." This is an 800.000 euro grant for five years of full time research, on average awarded to two economists per year. Candidates have a maximum of eight years of post-doctoral experience and must be affiliated to a Dutch university.
Earlier funding (post PhD): a Marie Curie grant (2008), a grant from the Volkswagen Stiftung (2009-2010), a Tore Browaldh grant from Handelsbankens Research Foundation (2010-2013), and grants from the Network Social Innovation (2013), and the Inspectorate of Education (2013-2016).
My research aims to better understand the determinants of heterogeneity in life outcomes (broadly defined as outcomes regarding the labor market, education, health, crime, happiness, etc.). I study three facets of the formation of important life skills: (1) preferences, (2) choices, and (3) technology.
(1) To what extent do early preferences and personality traits in life relate to later in life outcomes? How stable are these preferences? Several of my papers are devoted to this theme [1, 3, 6, 13, 14, 16-20]. Paper 18 was featured in The Economist and the Wall Street Journal. Paper 17 was featured in Vox. I am currently guest editing a special issue of the Journal of Economic Psychology on the stability of preferences. Recently, I wrote an article in Dutch on this topic for Economisch Statistische Berichten.
(2) How do choices regarding educational field and occupation enhance success in life? I wrote several papers on this theme [2, 4, 11, 15]. I also wrote various reports for the Dutch government, Cedefop, and the Dutch Education Council (Onderwijsraad), and presented my work at the Dutch Socio-Economic Coucil (SER).
(3) What can parents, schools, teachers and employers do to help children develop necessary skills? I wrote several articles on this theme [5, 7, 9-12, S1], and am currently evaluating the results of a field experiment to see whether physical activity improves school achievement with the Dutch Community Health Service.
20. “Risk Attitudes Across the Life Course” (with Thomas Dohmen, Armin Falk, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde), Economic Journal, forthcoming.
19. “What Grades and Achievement Tests Measure” (with Lex Borghans, James J. Heckman, John Eric Humphries), Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), 113 (47), 2016, 13354-13359.
18. “Time Discounting and Criminal Behavior” (with David Åkerlund, Hans Grönqvist, Lena Lindahl), Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), 113 (22), 2016, 6160-6165.
17. “Adolescent Time Preferences Predict Lifetime Outcomes” (with Hans Grönqvist, Lena Lindahl), Economic Journal 124 (580), 2014, F739-F761.
16. “Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion” (with Lex Borghans, James J. Heckman, Huub Meijers), Journal of the European Economic Association 7 (2-3), 2009, 649–658.
15. “Earnings over the Life Course: General versus Vocational Education” (with Anders Stenberg), Journal of Human Capital, forthcoming
14. “Does Birth Spacing Affect Personality?” (with Cécile Magnée), Journal of Economic Psychology, forthcoming
13. “Challenges in Research on Preferences and Personality Traits: Measurement, Stability, and Inference” (with Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch), Journal of Economic Psychology, forthcoming
12. “Teacher Literacy and Numeracy Skills: International Evidence from PIAAC and ALL” (with Stan Vermeulen, Inge de Wolf), De Economist, 164 (4), 365-389.
11. “Does Expert Advice Improve Educational Choice?” (with Lex Borghans, Anders Stenberg), Public Library of Science (PLOS) ONE, 10 (12), 2015.
10. “School Quality and the Development of Cognitive Skills between Age 4 and 6” (with Lex Borghans, Ulf Zölitz), Public Library of Science (PLOS) ONE 10 (7), 2015.
9. “Susceptibility to Default Options Across the Population” (with Lex Borghans), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 117, 2015, 369-379.
8. “The Socioeconomic Patterning of Perceived Stress and Hair Cortisol in Dutch 10-12 Year Olds” (with Hans Bosma, Daniëlle Groffen, Trudie Schils, Tobias Stalder, Elena Syurina, Lex Borghans, Frans Feron), International Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology 4 (8), 2015, 195-197.
7. “Parental Preferences for Primary School Characteristics” (with Lex Borghans, Ulf Zölitz), B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy (Contributions) 15 (1), 2015, 85-117.
6. “Gender Gaps in Primary School Achievement – A Decomposition into Endowments and Returns to IQ and Non-Cognitive Factors” (with Trudie Schils), Economics of Education Review 41, 2014, 176-187.
5. “Default Options and Training Participation” (with Lex Borghans), Empirical Economics 46 (4), 2014, 1417-1428.
4. “Job Mobility in Europe, Japan and the United States” (with Lex Borghans), British Journal of Industrial Relations 50 (3), 2012, 436-456.
3. “Identification Problems in Personality Psychology” (with Lex Borghans, James J. Heckman, John Eric Humphries), Personality and Individual Differences 51 (3), 2011, 315-320.
2. “Skill Transferability, Regret and Mobility” (with Lex Borghans), Applied Economics 39 (13), 2007, 1663-1677.
1. “Time Discounting and the Body Mass Index, Evidence from the Netherlands” (with Lex Borghans), Economics and Human Biology 4 (1), 2006, 39-61.
S2. “Deceased by Default” (with André Hildmann, Tifanny Istamto, Annelore Verhagen)
S1. “Are Estimates of Intergenerational Mobility Biased by Non-Response? Evidence from the Netherlands” (with Stefa Hirsch)