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Professional Profile


Jouke van Dijk (1956) is Professor of Regional Labour Market Analysis in the Department of Economic Geography at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences of the University of Groningen.


​Van Dijk graduated in 1981 in Regional Science at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Groningen. In 1986 he obtained his doctoral degree on the thesis 'Migration and the Labour Market'. From 1981 till 1991 he held several positions at the Department of Spatial Economics of the Faculty of Economics. Since 1991 he is affiliated to the Department of Economic Geography of the Faculty of Spatial Science of the University of Groningen, first as Associate Professor and since 2000 as Full Professor of Regional Labour Market Analysis. From 2002 till 2005 he was appointed as vice-dean of the faculty and from 2009 till 2022 head of the Department of Economic Geography. Chair/Director of the Board of the Waddenacademie, an institute that sets the agenda and coordinates research activities in the field of Ecology, Geology, Economics and Social Sciences in the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea Region 2008-2020. 

His research has a strong focus on labour market issues like employment, unemployment, the dynamics of regional labour markets and migration. Other topics of interest are regional disparities, regional development and growth, regional and labour market policy, policy evaluation, sectorial and functional changes in employment and production, innovation potential and performance, education and schooling, volunteer work, and extends to firm demography issues like locational behaviour of firms and entrepreneurship and environmental and coastal zone management. The results of his work can be found in a broad variety of national and international journals and books (see list of publications). He supervised more than 25 PhD-students.

In 2020 Van Dijk was elected RSAI Fellow of the Regional Science Association International as distinguished scholar with a proven and recognized research record in the field of regional science. He served the Regional Science community in many ways, among others as President of the European Regional Science Association, he was Executive Secretary of ERSA and European Organizing Committee and the Dutch section and as Editor-in-Chief of Papers in Regional Science, the flagship journal of Regional Science Association International. He was involved in the organisation of the ERSA congresses held in Groningen in 1982, 1994 and 2017 and with the three Summer schools in Groningen in 2001, 2006 and 2021. For his outstanding service to RSAI he received the Hirotada Kohno award 2022.

Jouke van Dijk is acting as advisor and consultant for the European Union, OECD, various ministries, provinces and municipalities, private firms and research institutes, the public employment service, unions and other organisations dealing with labour market issues and regional development.

Van Dijk is editor, reviewer and evaluator for PhD-committees, research councils, publishers like NWO, European Science Foundation, United States National Science Foundation, the Research Council of Norway and the Academy of Finland, among others as member and chair of evaluation committees for research. He was chair of the working group for the realisation of the Trilateral Research Agenda for the Wadden Sea Region and its World Heritage Site that is adopted at the Trilateral Government Conference in 2018 and he is now member of the Trilateral Programming Committee on Wadden Sea Research as representative the Dutch Social Sciences for the implementation of the Trilateral Research Agenda.

Jouke van Dijk serves several scientific journals as Editor, Member of the Editorial Board and scientific organisations:

• Editor of Springer Regional Science Series Advances in Spatial Science, since 2012;

• Member of the Jury of the ERSA Prize in Regional Science created to recognize outstanding regional scientists at the European level and to increase the image of ERSA in the scientific world, 2022-2024;

• Member of the Advisory Board of the GenZ program ‘Strengthening Human Competences in the Emerging Digital Era of the University of Oulu, Finland, 2021-2023.

• Lid Referee Panel for researcher projects for Scientific Renewal and for Young Talents 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2023 of the Research Council Norway.

• Chair Local Organizing Committee ERSA Online Summer School 2021 ‘Spatial Analysis of Regional Inequalities’, 27 June –3 July, 2021.

• Chair of the ex-post scientific evaluation panel of our research programme “Skilled Employees ¬ Successful Labour Market” (WORK) 2016-2019 of the Strategic Research Council established within the Academy of Finland, March 2021.

• Member Referee Annual Panel Research programme “Skilled Employees ¬ Successful Labour Market” (WORK) 2016-2019 of the Strategic Research Council established within the Academy of Finland, 2016-2018;

• Member of the jury of the Martin Beckmann RSAI Annual Award for the Best Paper in Papers in Regional Science together with Janet Kohlhase and Dan Rickman (2020);

• Member of the Trilateral Programming Committee on Wadden Sea Research als vertegenwoordiger van de sociale wetenschappen voor de implementatie van de Trilaterale Onderzoeksagenda voor het Waddengebied en het Werelderfgoed (since 2020);

• Member of the Referee Annual Panel for the Research programme “Skilled Employees ¬ Successful Labour Market” (WORK) 2016-2019 of the Strategic Research Council established within the Academy of Finland, 2016-2018;

• Member of the  Community of Experts Reviewers of the European Science Foundation (since 2020)

• Overseeing Editor Journal of Economic and Social Geography (Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie). 2002-2019;

• President European Regional Science Association, 2014-2018;

• Editor-in-Chief Papers in Regional Science, 2007-2012;

• European Editor Papers in Regional Science, 2005-2012;

• Member Editorial Board Social Research since 2017;

• Member Editorial Board REGION, since 2014;

• Member of the International Scientific Board of Investigaciones Regionales since 2014;

• Member Editorial Board Review of Regional Research (Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft) since 2013;

• Member Editorial Board Papers in Regional Science, 2001-2004 and since 2013;

• Member Editorial Board Journal of Geographical Systems, since 2007;

• Member Editorial Board Romanian Journal of Regional Science, since 2007;

• Member Editorial Board Regional Science Policy & Practice, (2007-2015);

• Member of the Editorial Board of Land;

• Member Scientific Committee Science Regionali / Italian Journal of Regional Science since 2019;

• Editor It Beaken (the scientific journal of the Fryske Akademy) (2000-2009);

• Member Editorial Board Environment & Planning B (1996-1998).

​• Member of the Board of Directors of the Western Regional Science Association (WRSA), since 2015;

• Member of the Council of the Regional Science Association International (RSAI). 2007-2023;

• Member European Organizing Committee of the European Regional Science Association 1993-2003 and 2005-2019;




• RSAI Fellow of the Regional Science Association International since 2020;

• Appointed as Fellow of the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA), a research institute of the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (SBE) in 2012;

• Affiliated Researcher Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) since 2016;

• Appointed as member of the Fryske Akademy for his contribution to science in Fryslân in 2010;

• Awarded with the Hirotada Kohno award 2022 for outstanding service to Regional Science Association International.

• On 15 September 2022, prof. Jouke van Dijk was awarded a Royal Decoration and was appointed Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau.

Foto Jouke van Dijk portret.jpg
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