Erwin Bulte, professor Development Economics at Wageningen University, is the best economist in the Netherlands according to a ranking published in the Dutch Economist in April of 2014.
'Top-10 close together'
This ranking, drawn up by economists of Tilburg University and University Amsterdam is a response to the ESB ranking, the best known ranking among economic scientists. According to the initiators of the alternative ranking, the ESB sets too much value on the quantitative output of economic scientists. That is why they made a list where economic scientists are compared to each other based on their 15 best scientific articles, those with the highest Article Influence Score (AIS). Erwin Bulte is at the top of that list, closely followed by Daan van Knippenberg of Erasmus University Rotterdam. "The top-10 are close together. This year I happen to be first place", Bulte says.
Experimental research in post-conflict regions
Bulte, who also scores very well in the ESB ranking, does a lot of research in African countries that recently experienced conflicts. He studies, among other things, what the influence is of the quality of local governance, and of development projects on the (economic) development of those regions. He uses economic experiments in various villages to find out how much trust there is among the villagers themselves, or how corrupt the local leaders are. As a result it becomes more clear what influence trust and corruption have on economic development. Bulte is also experimenting with different ways of spending development money.
Erwin Bulte received a Vidi- and Vici-scholarship. In addition to his professorship in Wageningen, he is Professor at Tilburg University (1 day a week) and will be a Professor in Utrecht from October onwards. He is also Fellow in Cambridge and Oxford, and member of the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) of CGIAR.