Bob Rijkers appointed as Professor of Political Economy

As of 1 November 2022, Bob Rijkers has been appointed as Professor of Political Economy at the Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.). Rijkers will join Utrecht University as a part time professor, for a period of five years, and combine this with current position as Senior Economist at the Development Research Group of the World Bank.

Bob Rijkers


Bob Rijkers studied at Utrecht University (B.A. in Science and Social Sciences, 2003) and at Oxford University (M.Phil in Economics, 2005, and D.Phil in Economics, 2008). He has worked at the World Bank since 2007 and is currently Senior Economist at the Development Research Group (since 2016). Rijkers is interested in political economy, trade, and labour market issues. His work on corruption, elite capture, shocks, democratisation, and labour markets has high impact from a policy-development perspective, as well as from an academic perspective.

Political-economic analysis not only helps identify solutions to economic issues, but also how to realise them.

Bob Rijkers

Becoming a professor at Utrecht University School of Economics feels like coming home, says Bob Rijkers. It's a new beginning, but it also feels very familiar: I lived at the international campus for three years, twenty years ago (from 2000 to 2003) when I was a student at University College Utrecht so it is very special to now have the opportunity to teach in exactly the same place where I once sat in the lecture halls myself.

The focus of the research at U.S.E. appeals to me enormously. In fact, I hope to contribute to research projects that have social impact and I think the Political Economy chair is ideally suited for that. Political Economy analysis not only helps identify solutions to economic issues, but also how to realise them. I am also very grateful to U.S.E. for giving me the opportunity to combine my work as a professor with my work at the World Bank.

At U.S.E, Rijkers will be active on issues such as (sustainable) economic development, inequality and shared prosperity, private sector development, labour market issues and tackling corruption. He will be teaching and will also be involved in (PhD) student supervision, working together with junior staff members, and promoting U.S.E.’s (inter)national visibility and impact.

I am looking forward to a long and fruitful period of cooperation and interaction with Bob Rijkers and colleagues in the years to come, says prof. Charles van Marrewijk, head of department at U.S.E..

Profile of the Chair


The chair in Political Economy at U.S.E. fits into recent developments with a focus on doing research that analyses how political factors help determine economic outcomes, in particular in the field of economic development while using modern methodological tools. Moreover, the chair provides bachelor’s and master’s and postgraduate’s education on political economy in a broad sense, including the study of production and trade in relation to institutions, including law and governance.