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prof. dr. S. (Sierdjan) Koster

Adjunct Professor in Economic Geography and Labour Market Dynamics
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Migration and Development (Bachelor Human Geography and Planning, Sem. 1a)

Migration is a powerful mechanism in the social and economic dynamics both of migrants themselves and of the places that are involved in migration. At the regional level, for example, we observe that human capital is an increasingly important determinant of economic development. Migration of skilled employees therefore importantly shapes regional differences in economic growth. At the other end, we see places that lose people as a result of migration and suffer the social and economic consequences. At the individual level, migration may be a means to improve your socio-economic position, for example when searching for a new job, or perhaps when running from harsh political circumstances. Migration thus plays a key-role in the lives of people as well as for the regions people live and work. Understanding process of migration is therefore key in understanding the socio-economic development of people and places.

This course is dedicated to the mutual relationship between migration and the economic and social development of people and places. It offers theories to understand why people migrate and the outcomes of migration. At the same time, theories that highlight the role of human capital and migration in regional development are explored. In addition, the course aims at providing the latest research and trends about migration flows within and between countries as well as the changing economic and social framework in which migration takes place.

Economic Geography: Theory and Application (Master Economic Geography, Sem. 1a)

The course is set against the backdrop of ongoing economic globalization and its implications for local and regional economic development. The course will examine analytical concepts and theories, as well as empirical approaches to investigating economic geography. In this context, the course will introduce important current themes in economic geography, both from an academic point of view and from a societal stance. These current themes include the importance of Human Capital for innovation and development, Well-being and Happiness as alternative measures of development, and Territorial and Social inequality. Students will examine these issues in the context of The Netherlands, the European Union, and in terms of newly emerging and developing countries.

The course explicitly asks how empirical and theoretical insights translate to the practice of local and regional development. For this, we will discuss pertinent policy options and tools, including city branding, business incentives and housing policies. Understanding the international practice of regional government is relevant in this as well, not in the least in preparation for a job in local development. Throughout the course we will pay attention to the practice of economic geography. This is most explicit in the two-day field trip to the Committee of the Regions of the EU in Brussels.

Master's Thesis Economic Geography (Master Economic Geography, Sem 1b and 2b)

The individual Master’s thesis concludes the Master programme in Economic Geography. It entails an individual research project developed and executed by the student under the supervision of one of the researchers at the faculty.

Students are free to choose a topic, provided it is relevant to the field of economic geography. Preferably, topics relate to the research agenda of the faculty (tWIST) and Economic Geography in particular. This means that topics in the broad fields of regional labour markets and firm dynamics, including entreprneuership, are highly encouraged.

The course is a combination of a fixed set of group meetings and individual progress meetings with your supervisor. The final presentation of the thesis takes place at the Graduate Research Day.

Last modified:25 June 2022 4.42 p.m.