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Bart van Ark appointed honorary professor

19 November 2020
Prof. Bart van Ark
Prof. Bart van Ark

Recently Professor Bart van Ark has been appointed as honorary professor at the Faculty of Economics of Business.

In September van Ark started a new assignment as Managing Director and Principal Investigator of The Productivity Institute , a UK-wide organisation which aims to lay the foundations for an era of sustained and inclusive productivity growth by bringing together academic research, policy studies and business engagement. The Productivity Institute, which is headquartered at the University of Manchester, is being funded by £26m from ESRC and £6m from nine participating academic institutions across the UK, including the University of Manchester, the University of Cambridge and King’s College London. Van Ark has also been appointed as a Professor of Productivity Studies at the Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) at the University of Manchester .

Van Ark started his academic career in Groningen as PhD student and graduated in 1993 on the thesis “International comparisons of output and productivity” supervised by professor Angus Maddison. In 2000 he became a full professor in the field of Economic Development, Technological Change and Growth. Together with Angus Maddison, Rainer Fremdling and Eddy Szirmai he founded the Groningen Growth and Development Center (GGDC) in 1992.

The GGDC provides unique information on comparative trends in the world economy in the form of easily accessible datasets,along with comprehensive documentation. These data are made publicly available, which enables researchers and policy makers from all over the world to analyse productivity, structural change, and economic growth in detail. This includes the Penn World Tables, the EUKLEMS database, the World Input-Output Database (WIOD) and the Maddison Historical Statistics.

In 2008 Van Ark was appointed Chief Economist and Head of the Economy Strategy and Finance Center at The Conference Board, a global business think tank headquarter in New York. There he oversaw the production of widely watched economic indicators and growth forecasts around the globe.

Van Ark has published extensively in leading national and international journals, including the Journal of Economic Perspectives , The Brookings Papers on Economic Activity , and Economic Policy . From 2004–2008 he was managing editor of the Review of Income and Wealth . He has also been widely featured in major international business media, including Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox Business, the Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

We hope that in his capacity as Honorary Professor, Van Ark will continue collaboration with researchers in FEB and other faculties at the RUG on various aspects related to productivity, including human capital, technology and innovation, environmental transitions, and public policy issues. Among other things, The Productivity Institute runs a programme for Productivity Fellows within the UK and internationally to conduct joint research or work together otherwise.

Feel free to reach out to Van Ark at van Ark.vanark or follow him on twitter @van Ark_ark or on LinkedIn at Ark-van-ark-0ba27830/

More information about The Productivity Institute can be found at
Last modified:30 January 2023 1.43 p.m.

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