What does it mean to receive a Vidi grant of €800,000? Assistant professor Anne Gielen of the Erasmus School of Economics can tell us, because she’s one of the 89 lucky ones who was awarded one this year. ‘I’m very happy because I really believe that this research is important. Not only scientifically, but also on a societal level.'
Congratulations! Can you tell us a little bit about your research?
‘My research focuses on welfare dependency across generations. The goal of welfare is to support people who need it, as well as to counter social inequality. But unfortunately welfare dependency seems highly persistent across generations. The question is: does the current welfare system function well? Or is there a flaw somewhere and are we actually perpetuating social inequality?’
With the Vidi grant, you can continue your research for the next five years. Why is that necessary?
‘Because of my research, I know that there are patterns when people receive welfare as a child and their socio-economic outcomes in adulthood. But why? We know very little about the mechanisms behind that, still this knowledge is essential if we want to adequately address the phenomenon and translate it in appropriate policies. That is why the relevant ministries are also interested in this kind of research. Thanks to the Vidi grant, in the coming years I can very seriously research the questions we still have.’
What does this grant mean to you personally?
‘I’m very happy with it, because I truly believe this research is very important. In the first place scientifically, because we know so little about it. But also on a societal level: welfare is paid by all of us and we all experience the consequences of social inequality.’