Interim Report for the Quality Assessment of Research



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Professional Publications

Vos, A.F. de (2004). Door statistici veroordeeld? Nederlands Juristen Blad, 13, 686-688.

Bos, C.S. & Shephard, N. (2004). Inference for adaptive time series models: Stochastic voltatility and conditionally gaussian state space form. Discussion Paper Tinbergen Institute, T104-015/4.

Koopman, S.J. & Ooms, M. (2004). Forecasting daily time series using periodic unobserved components time series models. Discussion paper Tinbergen Institute (No. 2004-135/4). Tinbergen Institute.


Awards and nominations 2001-2004
Dr. G.E. Bijwaard won the 2001 Dissertation Award for his dissertation entitled "Rank Estimation of Duration Models", awarded by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
Dr. M. Ooms is coordinator European Science Foundation Network: Econometric methods for the modeling of nonstationary data, policy analysis, and forecasting (2002-2004).
Editorship
Siem Jan Koopman:

Member of the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Econometrics (Since 1999). Editor of Econometrics Journal (Since 2002).


Marius Ooms is editor of Econometric Links of Econometrics Journal (since 1995).
7. Analysis, perspectives and expectations for the research programme
The programme has realised many publications in highly qualified journals in econometrics, statistics and economics while a number of publications are forthcoming in 2005 and 2006 (including Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Banking and Finance and Journal of Forecasting). The group includes seven PhD students and two postdocs. It is therefore a young group but one that is actively engaged in challenging research questions. The research involves theoretical, computational and empirical work. In the academic year 2005-6 we expect two or three PhD’s to defend their theses while we have a vacancy of one departmental PhD position and possibly one PhD position from the Tinbergen Institute. Finally we also apply for PhD funding from the N.W.O.
The research on nonlinear and non-Gaussian state space models has recently led to two promising results that are currently investigated in more detail. In the next period, we plan to write research papers on these results that will be submitted to good journals in statistics and econometrics. These results can possibly lead to more interesting empirical studies in economics and finance. We plan to engage some of these studies in the fields of business cycles and financial risk.
With respect to the research activities on seasonal and periodic dynamics and on dynamic panel data models, we are currently engaged in writing research papers that report some newly developed results. We expect that some of these papers will appear in good journals.
Applied Labour Economics (1995-)
Programme Description
The Applied Labour Economics programme is an empirically oriented programme. Its research is grounded in modern economic theories about the functioning of the labour market and related markets. The research programme aims at high quality scientific research in different policy relevant areas of Labour Economics, Health Economics and Industrial Economics. The programme focuses on three areas of research:
The first line of research seeks to bridge the gap between micro- and macroeconomic approaches in order to gain a better understanding of the working of the labour market. This project takes the behaviour of all agents who are active on a given labour market as a starting point to assess the effect of the institutional setting (such as the social security system, the existence of minimum wages etc) on the functioning of this market. A substantial part of this project is devoted to the adequate design and the evaluation of policy interventions on the labour market. Keywords: equilibrium unemployment; social security system; effect of sanctions; programme evaluation.
Innovative Activity and Productivity Growth is the main theme of the second programme. One of the main sources of productivity growth is technological advancement brought about by innovative activity undertaken by individuals and organisations. This sub programme attempts to delve deeper into the underlying sources. The research is taken from a micro and market based perspective. This is essential to understand the decisions of firms and workers that lead to innovative activity and productivity growth. Keywords: Innovative activity, productivity, Job destruction, job creation, labour market institutions.
The third line of research concerns the Economics of health, work and ageing. Most OECD countries are ageing swiftly as a result of the post-war babyboom and low fertility- and mortality rates, with dramatic consequences for the organisation of our society and institutions like the Social Security- and the Health Care system. This project focuses on issues where labour economics and health economics interact, such as retirement, consumption and wealth; the dynamic interrelation between health, work and income; health inequality and socio-economic status; and the effect of economic conditions on mortality. Keywords: Labour market behaviour, Health capital, Measurement of health, Morbidity, Mortality, Social Security, Health Care.
1. Leadership
Programme Coordinator: Prof.dr. M. Lindeboom
2. Strategy and Policy
The Applied Labour Economics (ALERT) Programme has witnessed a steady qualitative and quantitative growth during the past decade. We are now well known across the world for our research in labor economics and applied econometrics, and we are generally considered to be among the two or three best teams of labor economists and micro-econometrics in Europe. This can be read off e.g. by the fact that we have been participating in all major EU-subsidized networks in the area of labor economics, and by the fact that Van den Berg and Lindeboom are often asked to give keynote lectures at major international conferences (more evidence is listed under the heading “Analysis, perspectives and expectations” below). Our strategic objectives for the future are twofold:


  1. Further consolidation and strengthening of our position in labor economics, with a focus on methodologically innovative research on policy related topics, using new linked administrative register data sets.

  2. Expansion into research areas related to labor economics, notably health economics and firm behavior.

Common elements in our research projects are: (i) methodological innovation, (ii) policy relevance, and (iii) analysis from the point of view that agents are acting in the context of a market with market imperfections and uncertainty.


We now provide some detail on our objectives. Our first objective concerns the design and the evaluation of policy interventions in the labor market. All industrialized countries have implemented social programmes and changes in institutions (like pensions) to improve the functioning of the labor market. Knowledge about the effectiveness of these programmes is very important. There is a fast growing literature in this area that focuses on measuring the impact of policy interventions. Development of new tools in this area requires a deep understanding of (advanced) econometric methods and of the behavior of individual agents (workers and firms) in the labor market, and how this behavior is influenced by the institutional context. Our group is perfectly equipped for this; see e.g. our research on econometric methods and (equilibrium) search models of the labor market1, and our recently acquired unique access to linked administrative data sets with individual records, in a range of countries. This line of research is on the one hand methodological, but on the other hand very practical. By viewing individual behavior in the context of a market, using economic-theoretical insights, we avoid ending up estimating single policy effect parameters that cannot be used to widen our knowledge on the policy effectiveness in counterfactual situations.
Our second objective includes a major expansion into health economics, more precisely the interface of health, labor and population economics. In recent decades, most OECD countries have managed to achieve significant improvements in both the average lifespan and the associated quality of life of their populations. However, these achievements have also created new challenges for their health care systems and for the optimal balance between active working life and the care-dependent life period. The research required to answer these questions has as its general subject the joint distribution of health and income and the study of its dynamics and interaction across the life cycles of individuals. Our research will focus on the interactions between health outcomes and labor outcomes, and on short-run effects as well as long-run effects. While there is pervasive evidence that income and health are strongly associated in any cross-section, the underlying causal mechanisms are still not well understood and it is clear that causal mechanisms may be different at different stages of life. For policy purposes, a better understanding of how institutions may influence these mechanisms is crucial in order to stand any chance of generating distributions which are socially acceptable and welfare improving. This programme connects to the VU-Star project “arbeid, samenwerking en levensloop: onderzoek naar individueel gedrag, interactie en beleidseffecten”.
ALERT has always been active in research on firm behavior, witness e.g. the work on growth and innovation. We aim to further expand the empirical research on the organization of firms and markets (empirical industrial organization). This bears directly on many important policy issues, such as antitrust policy, innovation policy, and health care provision and insurance. The line of research also includes the recent major initiative by Frank den Butter to set up a research center on trade and transaction costs. Our expansions focus on firm and industry dynamics, entrepreneurial risk, innovative activity and productivity growth, auctions, contract economics, and insurance markets. Substantially, this sub-programme is linked to the analysis of labour-market dynamics and search models in the Labour theme and to the analysis of health markets and insurance in the Health theme.
These research themes are highly ranked on the research agenda of the scientific community. Obviously they are also highly policy relevant. Research groups of leading universities in the US are putting more effort in Empirical Industrial Organisation. Up to now this field is hardly covered in the Netherlands. The research in the field of health economics is booming and major research groups are currently investing in this line of research. The health economics programme fits into the ‘VU-Onderzoekszwaartepunt’ gezondheid en ziekte.
We have already undertaken major steps towards the above strategical objectives. Here are (only a few) examples. We have succeeded in getting access to unique register data on labor outcomes and/or health outcomes, in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the US, and the UK. We established a large-scale connection to the Netspar center at Tilburg University on topics related to health, labor, disability, and retirement. We recently hired a tenure track researcher in the field of regulation and industrial organization.
3. Academic Reputation
- The members of the research group have been successful in attracting NWO and KNAW funding: Aico van Vuuren received a VENI grant and Pieter Gautier received a VIDI grant.

- The research group is member of the editorial board or (associate) editor of leading international journals, including The Economic Journal (Gerard van den Berg), Journal of Econometrics (Gerard van den Berg). Recently Jaap Abbring has become a member of the editorial board of The Review of Economic Studies, and Maarten Lindeboom has become a member of the editorial board of Health Economics.

- Abbring, van den Berg en Lindeboom have been invited as a visiting professor at leading universities in the field, including the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago and the University College London.

- Gerard van den Berg has been chosen as IZA (Institute for the Study of Labor, Bonn) Programme Director “Evaluation of labor market policies” (2004), involving the organization of conferences and the supervision of research activities.

- Jaap Abbring has become a member of the Young Academy (De Jonge Akademie) of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences for five years (2004).

- Frank den Butter has become a member of the WRR (the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy)


4. Research Staff


Name and present title




2001

2002

2003

2004

Full Professors

Prof.dr. J.H. Abbring

1.00

1.00

1.00

0.50




Prof.dr. E.J. Bartelsman

-

-

0.36

0.34




Prof.dr. G.J. van den Berg

0.53

0.53

0.54

0.51




Prof.dr. F.A.G. den Butter

0.18

0.18

0.18

0.17




Prof.dr. M. Lindeboom

0.36

0.36

0.36

0.28




Prof.dr. H. Visser

-

-

0.20

0.15




Prof.dr. S. Vroman

0.50

-

-

-




Prof.dr. J. Albrecht

0.50

-

-

-

Associate professors

Dr. R.J.M. Alessie

0.36

0.33

-

-




Dr. B. van der Klaauw

1.00

1.00

0.46

0.43

Assistant professors

Dr. H.G. Bloemen

0.27

0.27

0.27

0.26




Dr. S. Hochguertel

-

0.00

0.36

0.34

Other tenured staff

Dr. M.P. Pradhan

0.10

0.10

-

-




Dr. F.R.M. Portrait

1.00

1.00

0.40

0.20



















Total tenured staff




5.80

4.77

4.13

3.18

Non tenured staff

Dr. P. Frijters

1.00

1.00

-

-




Dr. P.A. Gautier

-

-

-

0.40




Dr. U. Kock

0.00

-

-

-




Dr. A.H. Bergemann

-

-

-

0.91




Dr. A.P. van Vuuren

0.80

1.00

-

0.50

PhD students

Drs. E.L.W. Jongen

0.70

0.70

-

-




M.I. Lopez-Yurda

-

-

-

0.23




Drs. M. Mastrogiacomo

0.70

0.70

0.47

-




Drs. R. Mendes

-

0.23

0.70

0.70




Drs. R.H.J. Mosch

0.70

0.70

0.35

0.00




Drs. A. Llena Nozal

-

0.23

0.70

0.70




R.P. Wolthoff

-

-

-

0.23




T. Zavadil

-

-

-

0.23

Total non tenured staff




3.90

4.56

2.22

3.90

Total research staff




9.70

9.33

6.35

7.08


5. Resources, funding and facilities
Funding at programme level

Funding

2001

2002

2003

2004

Direct funding fte’s

87%

82%

52%

58%

Research funds

0%

3%

28%

20%

Contracts

13%

15%

20%

22%

Other

0%

0%

0%

0%

total

100%

100%

100%

100%


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