Current research projects
The Complex Interplay between Genes, Families, and Schools (NWO VENI grant)
Politicians, policy makers, and scientists have proposed several educational reforms to create more equal educational opportunities for Dutch children from different social backgrounds. For example, it is often claimed that it would be better for equality of educational opportunities to delay the age at which children are sorted into educational tracks. It is difficult to assess the potential effectiveness of such policies, because the influence of genetic predispositions and family background are easily confounded. Therefore, this project uses twin methods to study the interplay between genetic, family, and school influences on educational attainment.
Sources of Sibling Dissimilarity
Although most of social stratification research focuses on differences between families, the largest share of inequality in society occurs within families. This project investigates how such differences between siblings come about. More specifically, it looks how parents divide their resources among their children (e.g., whether they reinforce or compensate existing differences between children), and how these parental strategies depend on other factors, such as family SES and family size.
Past research projects
Sources of Sibling Similarity. Status Attainment in the Netherlands during Modernization (Ph.D Project, 2009–2015)
The aim of the project is to describe and explain temporal and spatial variation in the measured and unmeasured influence of the family on occupational status attainment of their children in the Netherlands in the nineteenth century. The family influences the status attainment of their children by transferring resources such as financial, cultural, social and genetic capital. The conventional indicator for family resources—occupational status of the father—will never be able to capture all these resources fully. To get around this problem, so-called sibling models will be used as they allow assessing the total family impact and how much of this total impact measured variables are able to account for. Moreover, we find out to what extent it is necessary to include extended family (e.g., grandfathers, uncles) in the analyses in order to understand the total family impact fully. An important and attractive feature of the project is that hypotheses are tested using long-term historical data such as digitized vital registers.
Coordination and Cooperation Problems in Network Good Production (Master’s Thesis, 2007-2009)
This thesis deals with situations where actors look to form links with others to produce a network good (a particular form of collective good). There are coordination and cooperation problems that hinder the efficient production of a network good. I studied and tested experimentally the conditions under which these problems are more easily solved.
In this project we will organize forms of shared reading within the Utrecht University, and monitor and evaluate their effectiveness, specifically with regards to (1) inclusion, (2) belonging to UU community, and (3) reading motivation. We will conduct (online/app) surveys, participant observation and qualitative interviews. Project leader; dr. Agnes Andeweg. project website: http://www.uu.nl/onebook, en https://youtu.be/j5IfBZk_gKE