Maastricht University, the Netherlands, and IZA, Germany
IZA World of Labor role
Author, Topic spokesperson
Human capital, Income distribution, Universities, Happiness, Unemployment
Dutch - Native speaker, German - Non-native speaker, French - Non-native speaker
Print, Digital, Television, Radio
Professor of International Economics of Science, Technology and Higher Education at Maastricht University, UNU-Merit/Graduate School of Governance, the Netherlands
Positions/functions as a policy advisor
Former Minister of Education, Culture, and Science of The Netherlands
President of Maastricht University until 2011
PhD Economics, Erasmus University in Rotterdam, 1977
“How to counteract the polarisation of the labour market.” In: Priorities for a New Political Economy: Memos to the Left. London: Policy Network, 2011; pp. 121–122 (with L. Soete).
Euroskepticism in the Crisis: More Mood than Economy. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8001, February 2014 (with K. F. Zimmermann and C. Wehner).
Fading Hope in the US. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6340, February 2012 (with K. F. Zimmermann).
“A vibrant European labor market with full employment.” IZA Journal of European Labor Studies 3:10 (2014) (with K. F. Zimmermann).
Universities deliver more competent graduates and higher quality research if they are more autonomous and well-fundedJo Ritzen, March 2016University autonomy and funding is an important aspect in university-level education due to its impact on graduates’ competencies, and on the quality and quantity of research produced. Political factors influence the amount of autonomy allotted to public universities in specific countries. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that an increase in autonomy for universities would provide better educational outcomes and have a direct impact on labor market productivity. However, the debate on autonomy has been overshadowed by discussions on tuition fees and student aid in political circles.MoreLess
Happiness is key to a productive economy, and a job is key to individual happinessJo Ritzen, May 2015Measures of individual happiness, or well-being, can guide labor market policies. Individual unemployment, as well as the rate of unemployment in society, have a negative effect on happiness. In contrast, employment protection and unemployment benefits can contribute to happiness—though when such policies prolong unemployment, the net effect on national happiness is negative. Active labor market policies that create more job opportunities increase happiness, which in turn increases productivity. Measures of individual happiness should therefore guide labor market policy more explicitly.MoreLess