Postdoc Evaluating and Modelling The Impact of Policies Aimed at Reducing Economic Segregation in The Netherlands

Research / Academic

Economic resources (typically wealth and income) are distributed very unevenly among people. In parallel, people with similar economic levels tend to concentrate spatially, in similar cities, in cities of similar sizes, and in similar neighbourhoods, in which case we call it urban segregation. Economic inequality and urban segregation are considered top priority challenges by the United Nations. Tackling them is urgent because economic inequality and urban segregation restrict the ability of the poorest individuals to get by in life, but they also affect life expectancy, social justice and cohesion for everyone.
One way to understand and address urban economic segregation is to model its dynamics, and to run and compare policy scenarios on how to reduce it. Following recent developments in analytical sociology and computational social sciences, it seems that two ways of modelling social processes such as urban economic segregation provide a strong basis for mechanistic and causal explanations: statistical modelling to describe covariations between social phenomena and individual characteristics, and generative modelling (such as agent-based modelling) to represent causal paths through which social phenomena (such as urban economic segregation) emerge from individual interactions.
This postdoctoral position represents an exciting opportunity to combine expertise and interests of policy evaluation with statistical/econometric and agent-based modelling skills on a socially relevant topic. You will be expected to identify a range of typical and existing policies aimed at reducing urban economic segregation or contributing to its reduction as a side-effect, from the neighbourhood scale to the national scale. You will then be expected to use individual, longitudinal, geolocated register data from CBS Netherlands to analyse and compare the impact of different public policies on the reduction of urban economic segregation in the past. You will also be expected to translate the most relevant policies into an existing agent-based model of urban economic segregation in the Netherlands and to analyse and compare their outputs.
This research programme should lead to two areas of innovation. First, you will advance research on urban economic segregation by providing updated policy evaluation analyses using a very valuable source of longitudinal data. In particular, you will compare the impact of policies implemented at different scales on the level of economic segregation in Dutch cities. Second, you will translate these findings into a cutting edge agent-based modelling tool aimed at providing simulation evidence for policy development. Please apply if you think these challenges are exciting opportunities for you to grow as social science researcher with an interest and expertise in policy evaluation.
You will be funded by the ERC Starting Grant SEGUE and will work in close collaboration with its members.


Need to have:

  • Completed PhD degree in computation social science, analytical sociology, urban studies, political science, spatial economics, human geography or other relevant fields linked to policy evaluation and spatially orientated quantitative social science;
  • Ability to conduct systematic policy evaluation;
  • Ability to compare the impact of different public policies empirically using advanced methods of statistics/econometrics;
  • Knowledge and experience of programming;
  • Interest in multidisciplinarity research on cities and inequalities.
  • Willingness to work in a team;
  • Ability to take initiative, be creative;
  • Command of verbal and written English (C1/C2).

Nice to have:

  • Command of the Dutch language;
  • Experience working on urban economic segregation;
  • Experience working with agent-based models.

Salary Benefits:

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (based on scale 10: €3,226.00 - €5,090.00). The contract of employment is offered for two years. The position is open for 36-40 hours per week. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.
For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Work Hours:

36 - 40 hours per week


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