Vidi Grant for Anne Gielen

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded Associate Professor Anne Gielen of Erasmus School of Economics a Vidi grant. The Vidi grant of up to 800,000 euros is awarded to researchers who, after obtaining their doctorate, have conducted research successfully for a number of years. This Vidi grant enables Anne Gielen to conduct her research for five years.

NWO selects Vidi laureates based on the quality of the researcher, innovative character of the research, expected scientific impact of the research proposal and possibilities for knowledge usage. These academics are among the top ten to twenty percent in their field.

Economics Department Director Professor Otto Swank of Erasmus School of Economics is delighted with the performance of Anne Gielen: "This achievement clearly demonstrates Anne's commitment to conducting excellent research. The grant will help us to realize our aim to bring the department's research on applied micro econometrics at the highest international level."

Short summary of the research

The research of Anne Gielen focuses on welfare dependency across multiple generations. Households are becoming increasingly reliant on welfare benefits to cover daily living expenses. Given that welfare dependence seems highly persistent across generations, this trend may not only pose a challenge for current generations but may also affect future generations’ welfare dependence, with dramatic consequences for social inequalities. However, little is known about the extent to which growing up in a family that is reliant on welfare causes someone to be welfare dependent himself later in life.

The proposed research will further understanding of causal intergenerational relationships in welfare receipt by exploiting various quasi-natural experiments combined with ‘big data’. First, it investigates the extent to which welfare receipt in childhood has long term effects on socio-economic and health outcomes in adulthood, including reliance on welfare. In addition, it studies two critical mechanisms through which welfare dependency may be transmitted from one generation to the next, and investigates how dependency evolves over multiple generations. Finally, it extends the focus to the entire life cycle, identifying whether there exist critical phases over the life cycle where the impact of parental welfare dependency on next generations’ outcomes is largest.

The findings of this research can help improve the design of welfare policy by indicating whether, when, and how public policies should target children in welfare receiving families.


Publication date: 30 May 2017