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Professor Jan Luiten van Zanden on new Maddison chair

19 October 2010

Prof.dr. Jan Luiten van Zanden has been appointed as honorary professor on the new Maddison chair at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Groningen. Van Zanden is winner of the Spinoza Prize, the highest Dutch academic award. The new chair has been founded to commemorate Angus Maddison, professor emeritus at the faculty, as well as to strengthen the discipline of Economic History. Professor Maddison held a world-wide reputation in the field of international comparison of levels of prosperity and economic growth between countries from a long-term point of view. He died on 24 April 2010 at the age of 83.

With the foundation of the Maddison chair, the Faculty also emphasizes the importance of the GGDC research group, the Groningen Growth and Development Centre. Maddison was co-founder and intellectual leader of the GGDC, that specializes in comparative research into long-term economic growth, on the basis of its unique database with historical data of national accounts from all over the world. Professor Van Zanden will be appointed on the Maddison chair for five years.

"Big incentive"

Dean of the faculty Elmer Sterken considers the appointment of professor Van Zanden a great honour for the Faculty of Economics and Business: “It is highly important for FEB to make the name of Angus Maddison live on. Being able to do this with the appointment of professor Van Zanden on the Maddison chair is a great incentive for FEB to further develop this important field of study.”
The professor will carry out research within the framework of GGDC and the department and research institute of Economics, Econometrics and Finance. Furthermore, he will teach within FEB’s Research Master’s programme.

Jan Luiten van Zanden

Jan Luiten van Zanden (1955) studied economics and history at the VU and obtained his PhD in Wageningen, with a thesis on the economic development of agriculture in the Netherlands in the nineteenth century. He became professor in Economic and Social History at the VU and later at the Utrecht University. Since 1997, Van Zanden is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Since a few years, he has been president of the International Economic History Association, the official organization for the academic practice of this discipline. In 2009, he organized the three-yearly World Economic History Conference in Utrecht. In 2003, he received the NWO Spinoza premium. Recently, Van Zanden obtained a large investment subsidy for the systematic development and accessibility of economic-historical databases CLIO-INFRA, in which the University of Groningen also participates.

"Maddison most influential economist"

FEB wishes to honour professor emeritus Angus Maddison with the new chair. Professor Elmer Sterken: "Maddison has been the most influential economist ever affiliated to the university of Groningen. His work on economic development and historical statistics of national accounts is highly respected internationally."
Angus Maddison (1926-2010) received his education at Cambridge, McGill and Johns Hopkins. His early career was at the OECD. He was appointed as a professor in Groningen in 1978. Maddison published about 20 books, one of his latest of which even described economic conditions at year one around the world. He also published many articles of which his paper on Growth and Slowdown in Advanced Capitalist Economics in the Journal of Economic Literature in 1987 has attracted 188 citations up to now.

Note for the press

For more information: prof.dr. Elmer Sterken

Last modified:13 March 2020 01.57 a.m.
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