All posts filed under “Netherlands

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Amsterdam Traffic Jam

Amsterdam is drowning in tourists and (new) city dwellers. The city saw some 17 million tourists and (Dutch) visitors in 2016, up from 12 million in 2012. Some say the number of visitors could hit 30 million by 2025. And: every year 10,000 people move to the Dutch capital. The gif above, based on a video shot by photographer Thomas Slijper, shows crossing of the Kort Prinsengracht and the Haarlemmerstraat – about 5 minutes by foot from Amsterdam Central Station. Especially biking has become a balancing act. (source)

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Rethinking Dutch Economics Education

Last week, the Dutch branch of Rethinking Economics published a study on the build-up of  Dutch economics curricula (bachelor’s). Rethinking Economics is an international network of students, academics and professionals whose goal it is to diversify and renew contemporary economic thinking. The major conclusion this study draws is that Dutch economics education is dominated by the study of market mechanisms among rational, utility-maximising actors. This stems from the supremacy of neoclassical economics in Dutch economics education, with 86% of the theory course time assigned to that economic school. None of the other schools of economic thought have more than 4% of course time. Another area the study focuses on, as seen in the figures, is research methods. Rethinking Economics NL criticises the lack of qualitative analysis, and conclude that ‘students are effectively blinded by to all aspects of the economy which cannot be expressed in numbers’. Lastly, another big complaint is that three-quarters of the curriculum is dominated by abstract theory and methods, and not by real world economics. (source)

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Mapping the Dutch Old ‘Boys’ Network

The Dutch data visualisation company ‘Datagraver’, has mapped the network of over a 1.000 active leaders in Dutch corporate, (semi-)government and NGO society. The network shows more than 18.000 relations (‘edges’), and further analysis in Gephi resulted in a top 25 of the most influential, well-connnected. Pauline van der Meer Mohr, a former university president and currenty chairing the Supervisory Board of Ernst & Young, tops the list. 8 out of the top 25 are women, which is quite surprising, as well as the number of relatively unknown (i.e. unmentioned in the media) entries in this list. (source)

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No, Strikes Are Not Making A Comeback

On the first of May, we celebrate International Workers’ Day, a commemoration of labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement. One of the ways the labour movement (via unions) impacted society, was through strikes. In the last decades, we’ve seen a dramatic decrease of strikes throughout the world:

These stats go hand-in-hand with the decline of trade unions; according to data from the International Labour Organization, the labour union density (percentage of amount of workers in trade unions vs all workers) has decreased in all major economies. However, workers in The Netherlands have bucked that trend in the last couple of years. According to data published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) today, the amount of strikes surged since 2011 and was at its highest in 2017 since 1989, whereas the labour unions grew thinner and thinner. Although this was quite the headline, looking at the amount of lost working days, this was nothing more than an anomaly. The amount of strikes in The Netherlands have risen over the last seven years, but the amount of one-day strikes was a big part of that: looking at lost working days, the statistics have roughly remained the same. The role unions play in the strikes have remained the same: in eight of the ten cases were part of the strike. In conclusion, although the headlines in Dutch news make you believe that strikes are making a comeback, they roughly remained the same. (source in Dutch)

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The Dutch Labour Market Over The Last Two Centuries

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) recently published this chart, which shows the composition of the Dutch labour market since 1807, all the way up until 2016. In 1807 the Netherlands, or at that time Kingdom of Holland, led by Louis Bonaparte, conducted a census, which is why these statistics are available. At that time, nearly 40% of the Kingdom of Holland worked in agriculture, whereas now, that number has plummeted below 3%. Sectors like financial services, IT + logistics and business services have grown considerably.