Professor of Human Capital and Social Economics  

School of Business and Economics 

Maastricht University


Citations: Google Scholar and Scopus

Research interest

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 two determinants of such outcomes: human capital accumulation and the social environment.

With respect to human capital accumulation, I study to what extent preferences and personality traits relate to life outcomes and how choices regarding the educational field and occupation enhance success in life. On the latter theme, I wrote various reports for the Dutch government, Cedefop, and the Dutch Education Council (Onderwijsraad). I also presented my work at the Dutch Socio-Economic Council (SER).

With respect to the effects of the social environment on life outcomes, I study how peers, parents, siblings, schools, teachers, and employers affect the development of necessary skills. 


My research is currently funded by a VIDI grant from NWO (the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). I received this grant in 2016 for the project "Noncognitive Skills, IQ and School Achievement." It is an 800.000 euro grant for five years of full time researchEarlier 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 Dutch Inspectorate of Education (2013-2016). 

Main publications

24. “The Impact of Peer Personality on Academic Achievement” (with Arjan Non, Ulf Zölitz), Journal of Political Economy, forthcoming. Featured in Times Higher Education

23. “Does Stimulating Physical Activity Affect School Performance?” (with Maria Jansen, Dave van Kann, Annelore Verhagen), Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 39 (1), 2020, 64-95.

22. “Risk Attitudes Across the Life Course” (with Thomas Dohmen, Armin Falk, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde), Economic Journal 127 (605), 2017, F95-F116. Featured in Vox

21. “What Grades and Achievement Tests Measure” (with Lex Borghans, James J. Heckman, John Eric Humphries), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS) 113 (47), 2016, 13354-13359.

20. “Time Discounting and Criminal Behavior” (with David Åkerlund, Hans Grönqvist, Lena Lindahl), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS) 113 (22), 2016, 6160-6165. Featured in The Economist and the Wall Street Journal

19. “Adolescent Time Preferences Predict Lifetime Outcomes” (with Hans Grönqvist, Lena Lindahl), Economic Journal 124 (580), 2014, F739-F761. 
Featured in Vox 

18. “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.

Further publications

17. “Does Sibling Gender Affect Personality Traits?” (with Cécile Magnée), Economics of Education Review, forthcoming.

16. “Are Estimates of Intergenerational Mobility Biased by Non-Response? Evidence from the Netherlands” (with Stefa Hirsch), Social Choice and Welfare 52 (1), 2019, 29-63.

15. “Earnings over the Life Course: General versus Vocational Education” (with Anders Stenberg), Journal of Human Capital 11 (2), 2017, 167-212. 

14. “Does Birth Spacing Affect Personality?” (with Cécile Magnée)Journal of Economic Psychology 60, 2017, 92-108.

13. “Challenges in Research on Preferences and Personality Traits: Measurement, Stability, and Inference” (with Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch), Journal of Economic Psychology 60, 2017, 1-6.

12. “Teacher Literacy and Numeracy Skills: International Evidence from PIAAC and ALL” (with Stan Vermeulen, Inge de Wolf), De Economist 164 (4), 2016, 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.

Submitted papers

S3. The Effect of Grade Retention on Secondary School Performance: Evidence from a Natural Experiment” (with Maria Ferreira Sequeda, Sergio Parra-Cely)

S2. Personality Traits and Academic Performance” (with Johan Coenen, Tom Stolp, Dirk Tempelaar)

S1. “Deceased by Default: Consent Systems and Organ Patient Mortality” (with Annelore Verhagen)

Bart Golsteyn,
Aug 5, 2020, 6:49 AM