“Arbeid, gezondheid en geluk van oude mensen”

On Friday 19 May 2017 Jan van Ours will publicly accept his appointment as Professor of Applied Economics, with focus on Labour, Health and Well-being at Erasmus School of Economics. The translated title of his inaugural lecture is “Labor, Health and Happiness of Old People” but note that the lecture is in Dutch.

In his inaugural lecture Jan van Ours provides a description of labor market position, life expectancy and happiness of old people. He shows that employment among old people has increased a lot but unemployment and especially long-term unemployment have increased a lot too. It is not immediately clear why old unemployed have such big problems in finding a job. Financial incentives of employers to hire old workers and financial incentives of old unemployed workers to accept a job have increased. Van Ours also discusses research on the relationship between age and productivity, age discrimination and active labor market policy. Life expectancy of old people has increased a lot, especially life expectation in good health. Nevertheless, the differences in life expectation between low educated and high educated individuals is still remarkable. On average, old people are happy. According to Van Ours, research on the relationship between retirement and health and happiness is inconclusive. He concludes that a flexible retirement age can increase the well-being of old people.  

About Jan van Ours

Jan van Ours is consistently in the top of the rankings of best economists in the Netherlands, regardless of how the ranking is compiled. Previously he was a professor at Tilburg University. His book on the economics of imperfect labor markets, written with Tito Boeri, is used in many universities as the standard textbook for labor economics. His work lies at the intersection of labor economics and health economics and is of great value to the Health Economics research group of Erasmus School of Economics. His broad interest for applied economics research is also shown in publications on professional football, educational performance of young children, car theft, burglaries and drugs policy. Jan van Ours also focuses on the support and coaching of young researchers in their work in order to give further impetus to the excellence of the research group Health Economics.


Publication date: 9 May 2017