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dr. A.J.E. (Arjen) Edzes

Associate professor
Profile picture of dr. A.J.E. (Arjen) Edzes

At this moment (2021) I am responsible for or directly involved in several research projects

Project: Talent in the Region (2018 – 2025)

In the coming years, the required knowledge and skills and the scope of the work will change significantly. These changes have an impact on the way in which workers, job seekers and students are made and kept competent for the labour market of today and tomorrow. Specifically for Groningen, we will have to do the work with fewer people in the future, which makes recruiting, training, retaining and developing talent in the region of vital importance. Preparing the workforce and employers for the labour market of the future is at the heart of the Talent in the Region program. We want to achieve that goal by

  1. Contributing to job-secure careers through good matching in the labor market;
    2. Monitoring talent and evaluating interventions;
    3. Knowledge development and circulation for, with and between citizens, companies, educational institutions and intermediaries in the regional labor market.

The project is coordinated by the Hanze University of Applied Science and is a cooperation between the University of Groningen, Municipality of Groningen, Province of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Noorderpoort and Alfa College, the central regional employers (VNO-NCW, MKB Noord) and employee organizations (FNV region North-East), the Labor Market Region Groningen (in which all Groningen and North Drenthe municipalities participate) and the North Education Alliance (SAN). 

Project: Intergenerational Poverty in the Peat Colonies (2018 - 2022)

With this research, we analyze with families in intergenerational poverty the poverty mechanisms that they experience and the social mobility strategies that they use in their family. On the other hand, we study poverty policy and intervention strategies of organizations in the Peat Colonies.

Using micro data from Statistics Netherlands, we also study the size, characteristics and regional movements of families in intergenerational poverty in the peat colonies.

The project is funded by the Provinces of Groningen and Drenthe.

Project: Cross-border project with Northern Germany (2021) 

The aim of the project is twofold. Primarily, the aim is to develop approaches to make small-town inner-cities attractive again and/or to promote retail. In the second place, the aim is to promote cooperation between German and Dutch border towns and villages so that they can support each other and learn from each other without competing with each other, preferably resulting in urban networks.

The project is funded by EDR.

Project: What works for whom?  Study into the Effects of Four Different Social Assistance Schemes (2017 – 2021)

Dissatisfaction with the current scheme of social welfare and the effectiveness of re-integration policies has led the city of Groningen to run RCT field experiments testing different configurations of the scheme. The study goes by the name Bijstand op Maat (English: Tailor-made Assistance) and includes almost 900 current social welfare recipients. The RCT experiment got the approval of the Dutch government, which is required under the terms of the Participation Law (article 83).

For the duration of the two-year experiment job search. requirements and welfare sanctions tied to benefit payments will be suspended to make room for more autonomy (treatment 1). Other aspects include a more tailor-made intensive approach in supporting welfare recipients (treatment 2) and increasing financial incentives to take up paid work (treatment3). As a specific treatment (4) a randomized selected group may actually choose between the first three treatments to investigate the effect of self-selection on the outcomes. The study is set up as a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with interventions running from November 2017 to October 2019. The primary outcome measure is full-time reintegration into paid work. Secondary outcomes of interest are differences in activation & participation, participants’ health and well-being, participants’ satisfaction with the new scheme, as well as their financial situation. 

Edzes, Arjen et al. 2018. "The Groningen Social Assistance Benefits Experiment ." AEA RCT Registry. December 06.

Selection of past projects

Project: Cross-border labour markets (2014 - 2017)

Countries, regions and municipalities take measures to stimulate cross-border work, by better organizing the provision of information for citizens and by removing obstacles in legislation and regulations. In addition, there are numerous partnerships in European border regions to encourage, facilitate, intensify economic cooperation and make the best possible use of public and cultural facilities. The research consists of a numerical analysis of statistical information from several countries. This is supplemented by qualitative research through case studies and workshops in the most important partnerships of the Dutch border regions. The research is being conducted in a unique research group consisting of the University of Groningen, Central Bureau of Statistics and UWV. In this way the knowledge and experience gained with cross-border statistics can be applied directly in existing organizations and structural solutions are being worked on.

Dynamics on the urban labor market (2011 - 2014)

The aim of the research is to investigate the dynamics of the urban labour market in relation to individual career paths on the one hand and the economic growth potential of the region on the other hand. The novelty of this research is that it fills the gap in knowledge of the links between dynamics on the labour market and regional and urban localities in the search for effective place-based policies. We distinguish between two interrelated objects of study. The first one is the study of individual career paths at a micro-level by means of micro-level data. The central question is whether we can define determinants of success of individual career patterns. By determinants, we look at personal characteristics (age, gender etc.), educational level and direction, the starting position on the labour market, transition patterns and firm level, industrial and regional characteristics. We also focus on interaction effects between high, medium and low educated individuals. The second one is the study of in-, through and outflows at the firm level, intra- en inter industrial mobility at an aggregated level and the relation between job opportunities, (un)employment and regional economic growth and in the end also how mobility at the aggregate level effects individual career patterns. Both research lines deliver input for a place-based labour market policy.

For the (statistical and econometric) analysis we use the information at a micro-level. The main source is the Social Statistical Database (SSB) of Statistics Netherlands (CBS). The SSB consist of several subfiles (like information on Persons, Jobs, Companies, Social-Economic Categories, Education) which can all be linked at a micro-level. Over the period of 1999-2008 individual career paths can be followed. The SSB data is partly filled by the data of the social security and tax administration of the Administration Office Employment Insurances (UWV) which is the second source of information. We enrich the micro-level data with information on a more aggregated level coming from Statistics Netherlands such as employment data, socio-economic indicators of regions, cities and so on. 

The research project is a collaboration between the department of Economic Geography and the Cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Haque, Eindhoven, Emmen and Almelo, the Province of Groningen, the Employee Insurance Agency and Platform31

Bridge Project: Regional Competence Management: Towards a research and policy agenda (2013) 

The bridge project wants to connect research that is carried out in the context of the Research program ‘Knowledge for Powerful Cities’ from Platform31/NWO around one of the most fundamental issues in the regional and urban socio-economic policy for the future: the proper exploitation and development of human capital in the light of the changing labour market and employment structure, occupational and job requirements and the upcoming ageing. The central question is: how we are connecting to available and requested competencies in regional labour markets?

The project is a collaboration between the department of Economic Geography of the University of Groningen, the Free University of Amsterdam, Platform31 and all the local and regional partners that participated in one of the research projects. 

Last modified:25 June 2022 4.17 p.m.