IP network member Bart Golsteyn is Professor of Economics at Maastricht University. He is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) and is affiliated to the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA, Maastricht University). His main research interests are in human capital, social economics, and economic preference parameters (time and risk preferences). Golsteyn received an M.Sc. in Economics and Ph.D. in Economics from Maastricht University in 1999 and 2007, respectively.
Describe your area of study and how it relates to current policy discussions surrounding inequality.
Personality traits are important predictors of heterogeneity in life outcomes. One of my aims is to investigate the relationship between such traits and school achievement. A second aim is to analyze how personality traits are formed. How do interactions with family members or peers, for instance, form personality?
What areas in the study of inequality are most in need of new research?
One area I find intriguing is “Diversity and Inclusion.” I am interested in the question whether increases in diversity of workforces with respect to gender or race have also led to more diverse workforces in terms of other factors such as personality traits. Next to this, I am interested in the differences between more and less diverse teams with respect to productivity and happiness.
What advice do you have for emerging scholars in your field?
The quality of our work is determined by several aspects which we hardly can influence. However, one key aspect we can influence is our level of effort. So, my advice is to work hard and be conscientious: e.g., polish your work, avoid unnecessary mistakes, finish your papers, avoid having too many loose ends, respond fast to emails, respect deadlines. Being conscientious is not only good for your personal career, but will also help economic science. It will make refereeing processes faster – something which is urgently needed.