Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen Economic Research, part of Wageningen University & Research develops economic expertise for government bodies and industry in the field of food, agriculture and the natural environment. By means of independent research, Wageningen Economic Research offers its customers a solid basis for socially and strategically justifiable policy choices.

Together with the Department of Social Sciences of Wageningen University and the Centre of Development Innovation, Wageningen Economic Research forms the Social Sciences Group.

Team members

Dr. Geert Woltjer

Geert is senior researcher and project manager Nature and Economics at Wageningen Economic Research, part of Wageningen University and Research. Till 2006 he worked as assistent professor in economics at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. He studied economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and wrote his PhD at Maastricht University about an agent-based macroeconomic simulation game. At Wageningen Economic Research he was the main developer of the global general equilibrium model MAGNET, an extended version of the international trade model GTAP, where land use change and biofuels have an important role. He used this model for example to analyse the effects of biofuels and agricultural policies on land use change, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, poverty and agricultural prices. He wrote an introductory economics textbook (“The economic way of thinking”, in Dutch), and wrote a number of articles, ranging from econometric analysis of happiness, economic education to policy analysis. His current focus is on sustainability and the green economy, including projects on the macroeconomic impact of the circular economy, natural capital and indirect land use effects of biofuels.

Dr. Marie-Jose Smits

Marie-José is senior researcher at Wageningen Economic Research, part of Wageningen University and Research. She studied political science at the University of Amsterdam and obtained a PhD degree in economics at the Free University in Amsterdam. In her PhD thesis technology choice among farmers was analysed, and especially the influence of input-related institutions on the technology choice process. The interrelationships among changes in economic endowments, political interests and institutions still has her attention. She works on policy oriented projects both on a local and regional level, whereby the interlinkage between the different administrative levels are explicitly recognised. Nowadays her main subjects are the transition towards a circular economy and sustainable use of natural capital.