Dr. V. Mazzucato and prof.dr. J.W. Gunning (Development Economics) received a programme subsidy after participation in the open NWO competition. NWO approved of a research proposal on the effects of transnational networks on the economic behaviour of Ghanaians in The Netherlands and Ghana.
7. Analysis, perspectives and expectations for the research programme The group has strong international ties; visiting arrangements with scholars abroad (e.g. Hans Binswanger, Peter Lanjouw, Menno Pradhan) have turned out to be very productive. The same applies for the collaboration within the Amsterdam Institute for International Development, notably with geographers and economists at the University of Amsterdam. It is important to strengthen such arrangements.
The group is diverse and will continue to work on a wide range of topics. However, as indicated under Strategy and Policy the work on risk and on impact evaluation is becoming increasingly prominent. The group intends to focus future PhD projects on these two topics. In the case of impact evaluation there appears to be scope for attracting substantial external funding, both nationally and at the European level.
Regional Economics and Networks (2003-) Programme Description The research programme on regional economics and networks addresses four interrelated themes: spatial dynamics, land use, transport and spatial information.
Spatial dynamics. The research focuses on the role of knowledge creation and knowledge spill-overs in the development of regions. Also, institutional differences between regions and their contribution to regional and national growth and trade will be analysed. Of special relevance are the functioning of urban land labour and housing markets, and their interrelationships.
Land use. Spatial dynamics have immediate consequences for land use in urban and rural areas (and beyond). Issues such as the realisation of agglomeration benefits (positive externalities) and degradation of quality of landscapes by fragmentation and reduction of open space (negative externalities) will be addressed. Special attention will be paid to various operationalisations of `multifunctional land use' as a means to accommodate for these externalities.
Transport. Problems of congestion and reliability in transport networks imply negative externalities that lead to various sub-optimal outcomes. The contributions of pricing strategies, public or private supply of infrastructure and information provision to reduce congestion and uncertainty will be analyzed. Given various limitations also the relative performance of second best instruments will be investigated.
Spatial information and knowledge. Information and knowledge are key factors in the development of regions and in the proper functioning of transport networks. The market for knowledge and information will be analysed both from a supply and demand perspective. Geographical information systems will be important tools in this respect.
1. Leadership Programme coordinator: Prof.dr. P. Nijkamp (until 2002), Prof.dr. P. Rietveld
2. Strategy and Policy During the past period several changes took place in the programme compared with the initial programme formulation (see above). The most important changes concern:
Spatial dynamics. New research projects have started on the functioning of urban labour markets, in particular on the impact of employer policies on commuting patterns of employees. Extensive use is made of meta analysis and spatial econometric methods.
Land use. A recent development is that the themes of external risk and climate change and their consequences for land use have become part of the programme. Various valuation studies on the impact of land fragmentation and of transport accessibility on land values are under way.
Transport. New developments are the study of climate change impacts on transport sectors, and the analysis of the surplus equivalence problem of infrastructure projects in the case of market imperfections including market power.
On a number of themes (for example, land use, valuation of externalities) the research group co-operates closely with the Environmental Economics group in the Faculty.
3. Academic Reputation - Jos van Ommeren received a VIDI-scholarship from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (N.W.O) in 2004.
- In 2002 the department of Spatial Economics received a research grant worth one million Euro. It is a large EU project called STELLA in the field of transatlantic research on sustainable transport.
- The European Regional Science Association (ERSA) has awarded the first European prize in Regional Science to Peter Nijkamp in 2003.
In 2003 Peter Nijkamp received an honorary doctorate from the National Technical University of Athens.
- In 2001 the department succeeded in getting grants from N.W.O. for two research programmes in the field of transport, one research programme is led by Erik Verhoef (pricing in transport), and one by Piet Rietveld (railway stations and urban dynamics).
During the period 2002-2004, the department received grants for the appointment of PhD candidates from N.W.O. in the context of the GaMON project‘Valuation of metropolitan open space’, and the VAM-project ‘Climate change impacts on inland navigation, an evaluation of adaptation strategies to cope with decreasing reliability.’
- In 2003-4 the department received grants for the appointment of PhD candidates from BSIK resources in four large research programmes: 1. Innovative land use, 2. Climate change and land use, 3. Geoinformatics, 4. Sustainable transport.
- The Royal Shell Prize 2002 was awarded to Jeroen van den Bergh. He received the prize for his research in the field of sustainable development, the environment, and natural resources. He received the amount of 100,000 Euro.
- The Regional Science Association International awarded Peter Nijkamp the Founder's Medal in 2004 in South Africa. He received this prize for his innovative contributions to all fields of regional economics and for his international leadership. The Founder’s Medal is the highest academic award in the field of regional science and was awarded only 15 times in the 50 years of the existence of the RSAI.
- Most of the researchers are member of the editorial board of important international journals (see editorship for a detailed list).