The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded Dr Jan Stoop of Erasmus School of Economics with a Vidi grant. The NWO Vidi grant of up to 800.000 euros is awarded to excellent researchers who, after obtaining their doctorate, have conducted research successfully for a number of years. This grant enables Jan Stoop to conduct his research for the coming five years.
Department Director of Applied Economics Professor Jan van Ours is delighted with the performance of Jan Stoop: ’Jan has put a lot of time and effort in this research proposal and I am very happy to see these efforts are awarded. He wrote an excellent research proposal and I am already looking forward to the results.’
Adhemare de Rijk, Funding Manager Research reacts: Jan has worked incredibly hard and has made it happen! His research is innovative and creative and this project could be a game changer in how we understand impoverishment. I am very proud of his achievement.’
Short summary of Jan Stoop’s NWO Vidi research project
Why do the poor have such difficulties escaping impoverishment? The proposed research sheds light on this question by using a novel research method. This method consists of a real effort field experiment where rich and poor households are mailed instructions and a return card. Cash rewards are paid when the card is returned, and the rules to return the card in all proposed projects are set up such that they mimic everyday situations. The strength of this method is showcased by its application to four projects relating to having little wealth. Each project has multiple treatments and behavior is measured by comparing treatments within and across different wealth levels.
All projects take place in Rotterdam. In cooperation with its municipality, representative poor and rich households are selected. The experiments are conducted in the week before and the week after households receive (unemployment benefits) payments. Recent literature suggests that (financial) stress in these weeks differs most, and that stress hurts the poor more than the rich. After data collection, anonymous background characteristics from CBS will be acquired to better understand behavioral differences. All projects are chosen because of their relevance to science and government policy. This research can help to streamline execution of policies, because implementation costs sometimes disproportionally hurt the poor.
This Vidi grant follows earlier recognition for Jan Stoop’s research. In 2013 he was awarded an EUR Fellowship Award, a NWO Veni grant in 2014 and the Pierson Medal in 2015 (a triennial award for researchers on the brink of international breakthrough).
Erasmus School of Economics wishes to thank the Research Office (especially Adhemare de Rijk and Pim Jansen) and all faculty members at the mock interviews for their invaluable support during the application process.