PhD defence of Max van Lent 27 October 2017

On Friday 27 October Max van Lent will defend his PhD thesis entitled 'Essays on Intrinsic Motivation of Students and Workers'. Supervisor is Professor Robert Dur and the co-supervisor is Dr. Josse Delfgaauw (both from Erasmus School of Economics). Other members of the committee are: Professors Aurelien Baillon and Dinand Webbink (both from Erasmus School of Economics), Prof. Jeroen van de Ven (University of Amsterdam) and Prof.Mirco Tonin of the University of Bozen-Bolzano.

About Max van Lent

Max van Lent (1989) graduated in Economics at Erasmus School of Economics in 2012. Afterwards, he worked as a PhD candidate at the Tinbergen Institute and Erasmus School of Economics. He currently works as an Assistant Professor in Economics at Leiden University.

Thesis abstract

This thesis focuses on intrinsic motivation. In the first part of the thesis I examine the effects of motivating university students to set goals on study performance. In particular Max studied whether encouraging students to set a grade goal and further motivating them to set a more ambitious grade goal has an effect on their study performance stem from students' intrinsic motivation to achieve their goal.

In this setting, goals are not combined with an extrinsic rewards or punishments. Hence the effects from goal setting on performance stem from students' intrinsic motivation to achieve their goal. The other two essays focus on workers' motivations to help others. Max focuses' on two prominent ways to help others: i) by exerting effort on the and ii) by making contributions to charity. 

More information

Max van Lent conducted his doctoral research at the Tinbergen Institute. The Tinbergen Institute is a joint research institute of Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Amsterdam and Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of VU University Amsterdam.

For more information about this ceremony, please contact Ronald de Groot, Communication Officer of the Erasmus School of Economics phone +31 10 408 1762 or by email:

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