Created with Sketch.
37 minutes | Dec 19, 2019
How to fix the Eurozone: Christiaan van der Kwaak on banks, bailouts, and the European Union
Since the financial crisis in 2008, the notion of a “bail out” has become something of a household term. But what about a bail in? Assistant professor Christiaan van der Kwaak researches the Eurozone, the 19 EU states that use the euro, and he says that there are still some fundamental flaws in the system feeding calls for exiting the union. Something has to give: either more nations will attempt to follow the UK’s lead and walk away from the EU, or reforms will have to be put in place to salvage the system. Van Der Kwaak says that a common EU budget could offer a way out of the current prisoner’s dilemma, but to what extent is the Dutch government prepared to get behind that idea?
33 minutes | Dec 5, 2019
Public health activism: Jochen Mierau on fighting health inequality through the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health
Associate professor Jochen Mierau’s background is in economics, but as a founding member of the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health, he is applying his expertise to a new discipline. Health outcomes vary from one nation to the next, but zooming in on the level of neighbourhoods can shed light on best practices that can be applied on a city or regional level. Mierau says that public health is not a spectator sport, and in our conversation about the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of this academic field, in honour of the school’s namesake, he talks about how health care interventions effectively amount to a form of activism.
36 minutes | Nov 21, 2019
How effective is foreign aid? Robert Lensink on measuring what works
Microcredit was a major buzzword in the world of development aid in recent years, being breathlessly praised as a breakthrough panacea. But our guest today, professor Robert Lensink of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Groningen, says that providing small amounts of financial support to individuals and projects can still be an effective tool, like most other trends, some bad actors took advantage of it and exploited the men and women on the receiving end. Microfinance can still be a powerful tool when its recipients are equipped with the right tools to protect themselves, but what is the effectiveness of other forms of intervention? Can aid ever be a true silver bullet, or does the entire system need to change first? Professor Lensink sat down with Econ 050 to discuss about the pros and cons of intervention.
30 minutes | Nov 7, 2019
Being paid to quit Facebook: Felix Eggers on the value of digital services
YouTube, Netflix, Google, Facebook: these digital platforms and services have all become seemingly indispensable and inescapable parts of modern life. But how much do users truly value ostensibly free online services? How much would it be worth to you to walk away from them? That often depends strongly on how you use it. Associate professor Felix Eggers found out that for the average person, 50 dollars a month was enough to convince them to unfriend Facebook for a month. Eggers contributed to research looking into the value of not using digital platforms, which is something quite different from the value of using them, and came up with a new way to measure the economic impact of platforms where the users themselves may be the most valuable product of all.
39 minutes | Oct 24, 2019
Gender equality in the workplace: Floor Rink on diversity, quotas, and breaking the business glass ceiling
The Netherlands sees itself as an extremely equitable country, which is not entirely without cause: it was one of the first in the world to legalize gay marriage and provides at least some paternal leave. But when it comes to achieving genuine equality in the work place – not just between men and women, but also between majority and minority groups – professor Floor Rink says that this country still has a long way to go. Over the years, her research into organisational behaviour and leadership has examined the role of mentorship, how gender roles from a young age influence hiring practices and how transparency can push companies to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to diversity initiatives. We sat down in the studio to talk about how the glass ceiling forms far earlier for minorities, and how having any hope of getting rid of it will require recognising that it exists in the first place.
29 minutes | Oct 10, 2019
Stress and ambition in young workers: Joost van de Brake on uncertainty, managing multiple projects, and burnout
For young professionals in particular, starting a new job can feel like grasping in the dark. The uncertainty of trying to figure out your place in a complex work environment can become very stressful very quickly. You may feel like you have to say “yes” to everything that is asked of you, but does being involved in multiple projects at your workplace ultimately improve or worsen your job performance? Can sticking your neck out and volunteering to take on more work end up backfiring? Assistant professor Joost van de Brake looked into all of these questions in his recent research, and sat down with Econ 050 to discuss ways that employers may be able to provide more certainty for their staff in a dynamic work place.
30 minutes | Sep 26, 2019
Generational poverty: Viola Angelini on the transmission of inequality
Being an immigrant, a teenage mother or a child born into poverty can dramatically impact your health throughout your entire life. The Netherlands is perceived internationally as an equitable country with a thriving middle class, and that is mostly true, but income inequality is growing, and more and more people are finding themselves in poverty even as the economy booms. It can take four generations for someone born into low socio-economic status to reach average earning levels, and even if you manage that feat, poverty and hardship in your formative years, or even before you were born, can lead to health problems like cardiovascular issues and depression later in life. Associate professor Viola Angelini’s research examines how life course factors like childhood hardship manifest themselves throughout our lives, even if we manage to be upwardly mobile, so I sat down with her to hear more about how generational poverty actually works.
35 minutes | Sep 12, 2019
Inequality: Marcel Timmer discusses his research on economic inbalances
Financial security is not the only measure of the welfare of a population. Safety, access to housing, medical care and education are just as important to your sense of well-being. But on a regional level, those can be somewhat misleading indicators: it was announced a few months ago that the inhabitants of Drenthe were the happiest and wealthiest in the Netherlands, even though the province has long had fairly limited job opportunities. Part of the reported satisfaction levels came from access to unspoiled nature, but more of was due to the fact that there were a disproportionate number of retirees living there. Recent research has also found that people with a recent migrant background and those without higher education feel that they do not experience the same degree of equality as other Dutch people. So how is globalization influencing people’s satisfaction with life and job opportunities in the north? Professor Marcel Timmer, who will be joining the board of the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, sat down with Econ 050 to talk about the region’s place in the country and the world.
29 minutes | Jul 25, 2019
Buying political influence: Swarnodeep Homroy discusses elected officials on executive boards
What is the difference between lobbying and buying influence? Since 2002, it has been legal in the United Kingdom for sitting politicians to hold board positions at private companies and serve on committees or propose legislation that could directly impact those companies. The reasoning given for these political hires is that familiarity with the inner workings of an industry make them a better informed politician, and that the skills that many politicians develop – strong networks, working together with different shareholders – make them a good fit for corporate board membership. But the companies that have a sitting MP on their board are likelier to have higher than average profits, and those that hire ex-politicians don’t experience the same bump. Assistant professor Swarnodeep Homroy looked into just how much a closer professional relationship between politicians and industry can be beneficial for those companies, and whether or not that’s a good idea.
36 minutes | Jul 11, 2019
Make it in the North: integrating internationals in the work force
What does it mean to make it in the north? Is it as simple as starting your own business or finding a job, or does it mean feeling truly accepted and supported in your professional and personal endeavours? There are thousands of internationals living in Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland, many of whom came to the region for their careers. But what are the companies and institutions that brought them here in the first place? On the 11th of July, the Make it in the North project will be launching a new professional platform to bring together talented internationals and internationally-minded companies in the region. I sat down with Michiel Kasteleijn from the international Welcome Centre North and Philippe Hondelink, the district secretary for Koninklijk Metaalunie to talk about what make it in the north projects all about what the new platform aims to achieve and what kind of unique challenges and opportunities face foreign professionals in the north.
36 minutes | Jun 27, 2019
Green hydrogen: Ad van Wijk discusses a new energy carrier for the north
Natural gas has been the Netherlands’ blessing and Groningen’s curse in recent decades. Even as quotas are reduced ever further, earthquakes induced by natural gas extraction continue to jolt the province on a nearly daily basis. But the country and the world need energy, and professor Ad van Wijk from TU Delft believes he has at least part of the solution: green hydrogen. Professor van Wijk helped to developed an extremely ambitious plan to convert the northern Netherlands into a green hydrogen hub, from production to distribution and transportation – but how plausible are those plans, and how much will they cost? We sat down with professor Van Wijk to hear more about this up-and-coming source of energy and what it could mean for the north.
32 minutes | Jun 13, 2019
Vaccines: Maarten Postma and the costs of inaction and inoculation
The measles were effectively eradicated in much of the western world decades ago, yet the potentially fatal disease has made a fierce comeback in America and Europe due to growing anti-vaccination movements. What are the health costs of enforcing sufficient vaccine coverage in a country? How does a country choose which illnesses to vaccinate against – and how does the Netherlands’ vaccination coverage stand up to the rest of the world? Professor of Global Health Economics Maarten Postma joined us in the studio to talk about how the conversation and science around vaccines has changed in recent decades, and about the costs of medical action and inaction when it comes to inoculation.
31 minutes | May 30, 2019
Econ 050: should the north become the next Silicon Valley?
What will the north look like in the future? Will it become the next Silicon Valley – and is that something we actually want to become? The tech industry is one of the region’s growing strong suits, but what does that really mean for job opportunities today and in the years to come? Nick Stevens, the Chief Digital Officer in Groningen, says that part of figuring out what the future holds for Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland is getting the cities and provinces to look beyond their own borders and recognize themselves as part of a single region. We sat down with him for a wide-ranging interview about the role of local government, businesses and educational institutions in developing and executing a new vision for the north.
35 minutes | May 16, 2019
Dining in the north: Saskia Jonker of De Smaak van Stad on the regional restaurant scene
For many internationals, food is an integral part of your sense of cultural identity, and moving abroad can often mean finding yourself longing for your favorites from home and missing the social element of a shared meal. But a region’s food scene is also very much an economic and business matter: how do you balance out chains and locally owned establishments? How does having a big student population influence the dining scene in a city? How cost effective is it to own and operate a food truck in a country that isn’t exactly known for excellent weather? Through her culinary blog De Smaak van Stad, freelance journalist Saskia Jonker has gotten a taste for what’s happening in the culinary world across the north, and she sat down with us to share her thoughts on the latest food trends and her personal favorite places to grab a bite in Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland.
31 minutes | May 1, 2019
Immigration and jobs: Magda Ulceluse talks equality among EU member states
Post-doctoral candidate Magda Ulceluse researches the intersection of immigration, employment and income equality. There are more than 9,000 businesses in the north that are owned by first generation immigrants, and work and education are what bring many immigrants here originally, but dual career partners and university graduates also need to find work. Is there any truth to the claims that immigrants steal jobs from the native population? What is the balance of brain drain and brain gain among member states? Ulceluse joined us in the studio to try and sort truth from fiction when it comes to migrants, job creation and economic growth.
36 minutes | Apr 18, 2019
Comparing economies: using the past to understand the present
What do the modern day Ivory Coast and the 19th century Netherlands have in common? According to research from the Groningen Growth and Development Center, the size of their economies is virtually identical. Professor Robert Inklaar, who is a participant in the Growth and Development Center, says that one of the center’s most powerful tools is the Penn World Table, which gathers data about the economic output and productivity of 180 countries around the world all the way back to the 1950s and even further in some cases. But what are the best ways to compare economic performance? How can intangible digital products and services be accounted for in measuring prosperity? We sat down with professor Inklaar to hear all about the past, present and even future of using data to figure out just how well any given country’s economy is doing.
30 minutes | Apr 4, 2019
Corporate ethics: How easy is it to slip into misconduct?
Imagine you’re on the banks of a river, watching the white water rapids rage past you. You’re surrounded by a group of your closest friends who booked a rafting trip, but you’re scared. You are deathly afraid that the raft will tip over, and you’ve heard horror stories about people drowning in these waters. In theory, you could still refuse to get into the raft, but everyone else is getting in, and you don’t want to disappoint your friends. So, you get in. The raft starts moving along and gradually gains speed. The waters aren’t too wild yet, so you could still get out at this point, but it’s already a dangerous situation. You keep going and going, faster and faster, and then, the raft flips. This is how assistant professor Kristina Linke describes the process of how corporate executives find themselves gradually but inevitably crossing ethical lines professionally. In principle, they can see the danger coming from a mile away, but in practice, it can be just as scary to try and get out before certain disaster strikes. We sat down with assistant professor Linke to hear about just how easy – and common – it is for corporate staff to slide into financial fraud.
31 minutes | Mar 21, 2019
Avoiding climate catastrophe: Pim Heijnen talks abatement and accountability
If climate change is global, why do so many countries, even those at direct risk of its consequences like the low-lying Netherlands, still seem to see it as a zero sum game? How can politicians, including those in the climate change denying populist party Forum for Democracy who won a large share of the vote this week, and companies be made to look beyond their own national borders and coffers to make change now? Associate professor Pim Heijnen has been researching ways to avoid climate catastrophe through cooperation, so I wanted to hear more from him about why it seems so hard for individual countries to put long term global interests above short term national interests.
27 minutes | Mar 8, 2019
What are water boards? Corine Houben explains the politics of keeping the Netherlands dry
Water management may not seem like an especially sexy topic, but in a country where about one-third of the ground is below sea level, it can be a matter of life or death. Water management has been a part of Dutch history since long before the Netherlands was even a single unified country, but most Dutch people don’t exactly know what the government entity that manages the water, the water boards, actually do. Even though the concept of making sure that the country doesn’t end up underwater seems pretty uncontroversial, there is a political side to water boards – should they focus exclusively on keeping water clean and keeping the land dry, or should they also be responsible for recreational use? Should the agricultural sector be charged more than private households for their water use? Corine Houben is a researcher at COELO, the Center for Research of local governments, recently carried out research into the difference in water board taxation rates across the country, so Econ 050 wanted to find out what this vitally important but little understood branch of government really does, and why your vote matters.
28 minutes | Feb 21, 2019
Beyond left and right: how political identity influences happiness
Maite Lameris is a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Business and has been working on research on new ways to see how a person’s political values correspond with how happy they are and how they vote. Lameris and her fellow researchers have also developed four new dimensions for measuring political identity to go beyond the limitations of leftwing versus rightwing.
Terms of Service
Your Privacy Choices
© Stitcher 2023