Bastian Ravesteijn talks about unequal opportunities in Studio Erasmus

Bastian Ravesteijn, Assistant Professor of Applied Economics, is a guest at Studio Erasmus where he talked about the opportunity gap among young people. Ravesteijn researched among other things how, where and when the opportunity gap arises. Does it only emerge when we start looking for a job? Or already from the moment we are born?

Ravesteijn's research shows that the opportunity gap actually arises very early. Children from poorer families often appear to have less income later in life. The data also shows that babies with parents from lower income groups already have a higher BMI after four months than babies from higher income groups. Ravesteijn explains that we already knew that there are differences in opportunity between people from different income groups, but we now also know how big those differences are and at what age they arise.

'You can of course ask yourself to what extent it’s a bad thing that some people are less likely to have a higher education degree if it suits them less. That's not necessarily wrong, of course,' says Ravestijn in Studio Erasmus. 'But it is difficult to unravel to what extent this is due to what has happened around someone and to what extent someone can still change this and get more out of themselves.'

As a result of the research, the Kansenkaart (Opportunities Map) was developed. This is an interactive map that, using existing data, provides insights into the extent to which the Dutch enjoy the same opportunities in terms of income, education and health. When comparing people in their thirties who grew up in families from the same income group but in different districts, there appears to be a clear relationship between their current income and the district in which they grew up.

Assistant professor
More information

The full item from Studio Erasmus, 28 September 2021, can be found here (in Dutch). 

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