Applied economist Dr Jan Stoop of Erasmus School of Economics has been awarded a Veni grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Veni grants target outstanding academics who obtained their PhD in the past three years and display a striking talent for scientific research.
Recipients of a Veni grant are primarily selected based on quality, innovative character and expected academic impact of the proposed research. Winners of a Veni grant receive a grant of € 250,000 for a 3 years research project.
Jan Stoop specialises in the relation between behaviour as tested in a laboratory and in real life. Lab experiments are increasingly applied in economics, but they are often criticized for testing behaviour in too simplistic settings, using only small amounts as rewards, overly relying on students etc, thus offering limited insight in how people will behave in normal circumstances. This undermines the relevance of laboratory results for policy advice.
In Jan Stoop’s project the tension between the lab and every day circumstances will be addressed by first systematically comparing results from experiments that step-by-step become more “real”: from pure laboratory tests to ultimately field experiments where the participants do not know that they are tested. Then the conclusions from the comparison, revealing which elements add to the external validity of an experiment, are fed back to a new laboratory design, aiming to increase its relevance.
Jan Stoop has already received substantial international recognition for his work in this area. He has a visiting position at the University of Chicago where he collaborates with John List, a world leader in this field. Stoop’s output includes a publication in the Journal of Political Economy, one of the absolute top journals in Economics. Last year the Erasmus University Rotterdam awarded him with an EUR Fellowship, for talented researchers.
Prof. Philip Hans Franses, dean of Erasmus School of Economics is delighted with Jan Stoop’s success. He remarks: “Jan Stoop’s Veni grant is a fully justified personal recognition for his individual academic talent and originality of his research. It also confirms the strong position of Erasmus School of Economics in this area of research. Behavioral research is very fashionable these days. I am happy that NWO once again recognizes that in behavioral economics we have an internationally leading group that is really bursting with individual talent”.