From 1971 to 2009 I worked at the Wageningen University and its predecessors with an appointment as full professor of ‘Agricultural Policy’ in 1993. The chair was extended in two steps to ‘Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy’. I spent sabbatical periods at US universities and in Brussels (European Commission). My research and teaching has been oriented on agricultural economics and policy, rural economics and policy and environmental & resource economics in relation to agriculture and rural areas; often using quantitative economic methods. From 1988-1993 I edited the European Review of Agricultural Economics (ERAE).
I have been the initiator and first director of the Mansholt Institute in 1994. From 1998 to 2003 I was (again) Scientific Director of Mansholt Graduate School, which joined in 2010 the Wageningen part of another graduate school under the name: Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS). I organised - or provided - several PhD-courses on specialised subjects to improve the research abilities of PhD researchers. Teaching regular students – including developing teaching material - and PhD supervision were central activities.
My policy research focused first on EU dairy policy (up to 1988) and then on environmental policy in relation to agriculture. Later I gradually shifted to a wider area of EU policies. I coordinated – together with Alison Burrell and later Gerrit Meester - professional courses on EU Policy for Agriculture, Food and Rural Areas. Several books resulted from these activities.
My Farewell Address of Wageningen University, see:
I joined the faculty of Agricultural Economics in 1995-1996 on a Mansholt Sabbatical Fellowship while I was on leave from the University of British Columbia. Subsequently, in 1997, Professor Arie Oskam convinced me to join the Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy group on a part-time basis, a position I held until I retired in 2017. In 1999, I became a member of the Mansholt Graduate Institute and a NAKE (Network of Analytic and Quantitative Economics) Fellow in 2001. My experience at Wageningen University was among the best of my academic and personal life. During this time, I had the privilege to supervise or co-supervise several PhD students, who have gone on to successful and interesting careers in academia and the private sector. I taught a number of courses, supervised MSc essays, engaged in research, and simply enjoyed time conversing with the many faculty members, staff and students that I got to know over the years. I will always be grateful for the collegial atmosphere in the Leeuwenborch.
During my 20+ years at Wageningen, I wrote numerous papers and three books with Dutch colleagues. Highlights include a book, entitled The Economics of Nature (Blackwell, 2000), with Erwin Bulte, and a paper on forest deforestation, with Henk Folmer, that we prepared for Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus. I was also involved with the Landbouw Economisch Instituut (LEI) in Den Haag, which later became Wageningen Economic Research (WEcR), now with a strong presence in the Leeuwenborch.
Although retired from WUR, I continue with a position as Canada Research Chair and Professor of Economics at the University of Victoria in Canada. And I am engaged more now that ever before in Agricultural Economics and Policy research with colleagues at WEcR and as a member of the advisory committee of Professor Justus Wessler’s Biomonitor project. For more information on how my retirement is progressing, please visit www.vkooten.net.
I studied Economics at the Erasmus University (cum laude, 1973) and promoted in 1982 at the former Agricultural College in Wageningen. I became a Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam, teaching International Agribusiness. After a period of 5 years as Chairman of the board of Directors at Wageningen University and Research Centre I became a member of the Dutch Government as Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (2002-2007).
At the present I am a member of several private and public (supervisory) boards. I was a Personal special advisor to the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, member of the Steering Committee European Innovation Platform on Water management to the EU commissioner Mr. J. Potocnik and advisor to the Delta commissioner Mr. W. Kuijken.