Lans Bovenberg

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Lans Bovenberg
Lans Bovenberg.jpg
Born (1958-06-15) June 15, 1958 (age 58)
Oosterbeek, Netherlands
Residence Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Fields Public Economics
Institutions Netspar
Tilburg University
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D.)
Econometric_Institute drs., MSc Econometrics and Operations Research
Doctoral advisor Laura Tyson
Doctoral students Ruud de Mooij, Bas Jacobs
Known for Population aging
Environmental economics
Public finance
Life Course Saving Scheme
Notable awards Spinoza Prize (2003)
Honorary Doctorate from University of Ghent (2008)

Arij Lans Bovenberg (born June 15, 1958) is a Dutch economist, and Professor of Economics at the Tilburg University and Erasmus University, known mainly due to his contribution to the Dutch debate on population ageing, pension reforms and public finances. Lans Bovenberg was awarded the Spinoza Prize in 2003.


Bovenberg was born and raised in Oosterbeek in the Netherlands. Between 1976 and 1981 he studied econometrics at the Erasmus University. Teun Kloek supervised his MSc thesis (doctoraalscriptie) From 1981 to 1984 he studied at the University of California, Berkeley. He obtained his PhD in economics there at the end of 1984 for the dissertation entitled Capital Accumulation and Capital Immobility: Q-theory in a Dynamic General Equilibrium Framework.[1]

After graduation he lived in the USA, working at the International Monetary Fund. In 1990 he returned to the Netherlands and after a brief period at the Ministry of Economic Affairs he became a Professor of Economics at the Tilburg University and Erasmus University. Between 1995 and 1998 Bovenberg was deputy director at the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis. Since April 2004 he has been scientific director of research institute Netspar, which he has founded.[2]

Bovenberg is an independent member of the Dutch government's Social-Economic Council's committee for Social-Economic Policy and Life-Course Policy. In 2003 he won the Spinoza prize,[3] which allowed him to start the Netspar research institute. Also thanks to these activities he was declared to be one of the 100 most influential Dutchmen by HP/De Tijd magazine in 2007.[4] In 2008 Bovenberg got an honorary doctorate by the University of Ghent, Belgium for his scientific contributions. In 2009 he was elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.[5]


The early work of Bovenberg focussed on tax competition in open economies.[6] Later he contributed on optimal taxes and environmental economics.[7] Most recently he focussed on population ageing and pension economics.[8]

Population ageing and pension[edit]

In the area of population ageing and pension Bovenberg advocates more flexible employment contracts, which would allow employees to combine work with care duties and lifelong learning. To keep older workers in the labor force, he suggests to offer them more vacation and shorter working hours.[9]

He is the architect of the Dutch Life Course Saving Scheme, which allows workers to save parts of their income to finance longer period of leave.[10]

Labour Participation[edit]

In 2008 Bovenberg was a member of the Commission Labour Participation, led by P. Bakker.[11] The commission advised the Dutch government on how to increase labor force participation in the Netherlands to 80%.

Christian Democratic Appeal[edit]

Bovenberg believes that people have be given incentives to make full use of their capacities and that people also have duties, not only rights. He argues that also disadvantaged social groups should be expected to participate to work. He is often considered to be a Christian Democratic Appeal ideologist, but he himself states that his view (partly) differs from those of the party in some areas. Together with other Dutch economists like Johan Graafland and Eric van Damme, he thinks about the connection between Christian thinking and economics.[12]


Lans Bovenberg is married and father of two children. He was originally a member of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands. When he lived in the United States, he was touched by the faith and the practical living of evangelic Christians. When he returned to the Netherlands he became a Pentecostal.

He is a member of the charismatic Evangelic Church Jefta in Breda, which is a part of the Pentecostal denomination Rafael Nederland. Twice a year he preaches in his church.[13] He plans to study theology and become a part-time preacher around 2013.


  1. ^ Bovenberg, Lans. "Education". Tilburg University. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  2. ^ Bovenberg, Lans. "Professional Experience". Tilburg University. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  3. ^ "NWO/Spinoza prizes". Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. Archived from the original on 2011-08-22. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  4. ^ HP/De Tijd elects Bovenberg one of the 100 most influential Dutchmen
  5. ^ "Lans Bovenberg". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Effects of Capital Income Taxation on International Competitiveness and Trade Flows". American Economic Review. 79 (5): 1045–64. December 1989. JSTOR 1831436. 
  7. ^ "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation". American Economic Review. 94 (4): 1085–1089. September 1994. JSTOR 2118046.  (with R. A. de Mooij).
  8. ^ "Financing Retirement in the European Union". International Tax and Public Finance. 10 (6): 713–734. November 2003. 
  9. ^ "Interview with Lans Bovenberg" (in Dutch). NRC Handelsblad. August 19, 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  10. ^ Delsen, Lei; Jeroen Smits (31 May – 1 June 2007). "Ins and out of the Dutch Life Course savings scheme" (PDF). Seminar on the Life Risks, Life Course and Social Policy. Paris, France: Organisation for economic co-operation and development (Paper 3). 
  11. ^ Press release Commission Labour Participation
  12. ^ "Christelijke Traditie en Neo-Klassieke Economie in Gesprek,"(Dialogue of Christian Tradition and Neo-Classical Economics) Economisch Statistische Berichten, Vol. 84, No. 4230, pp. 848-852, November 1999 (with Th. C.M.J. van de Klundert).
  13. ^ One of Bovenberg's sermons

External links[edit]