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Migrating from Jekyll to Hugo

Introduction For quite some time I have been thinking about migrating my (very small) website to the Hugo platform. Mostly because I admire the information rich structure of Kieran Healy’s website and he converted already from Jekyll to Hugo a while ago. Because my website is indeed quite small, it does not suffer from Jekyll oftentimes being slow. However, I needed some additional features of my Jekyll site (e.g., converting bibtex to a reference list), which could not automatically be rendered by Github which is my choice of deployment.

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Sortingmod: an R-package for sorting models

Overview sortingmod is a package for estimating the sorting model - a discrete choice model which explains the location decision of heterogeneous individuals over a set of alternative locations. The model is developed by Bayer et al. (2004) following the work of Berry et al. (1995). It relies on the assumptions that individuals choose a location that maximizes their utility, and that heterogeneous individuals with different characteristics have different preferences, and different valuation for location characteristics.

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Choosing statistical software packages for education in the social sciences

Introduction: the empirical workflow Econometrics is much easier without the data—Marno Verbeek The quote above does not only apply to economics and econometrics, but to all of the social sciences in general. Empirical research—that is, dealing with data in all its forms—requires a rigorous approach, even more so, with the increasing emphasis on openness and reproducibility of all kinds of scientific research. Therefore, it is strange that in academic education there is not much guidance in choosing which research tools to use and in the philosophy behing choosing an efficient and reproducable workflow.

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A lines map of building height in Amsterdam

Introduction I just came across this wonderfull post on called Population Lines: How and Why I Created it) by James Cheshire. It allows for wonderfull (and artistic) maps constructed by only varations in height of horizontal lines. One might wonder how useful they are, but they sure are beautiful as one can see below in the population lines map of Europe. Population lines map of Europe (source http://blog.

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A Heatmap of the Robustness of Determinants of European City growth

Introduction Understanding what makes a city tick (e.g., the determinants that makes cities succesful in employment of economic growth) is vital for both policy makers and (regional) economists. Indeed, local policy makers usually want to know what they can contribute to the performance of their city or region. If policy makers can at all influence the performance, then most likely instruments vary between cities and regions. What is good for one city is not necessarily good for another.

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Social Interaction and Crime

Social Interaction and Crime: An Investigation Using Individual Offender Data in Dutch Neighborhoods conditionally accepted in RESTAT Just heard that my paper Social Interactions and Crime Revisited: An Investigation Using Individual Offender Data in Dutch Neighborhoods written together with Wim Bernasco, Jan Rouwendal and Wouter Steenbeek is conditionally accepted in the Review of Economics and Statistics. Im am rather happy with this result; especially given the fact that we have worked on this for more than 5 years (not consecutively but still).

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Promotion Zhiling Wang

Promotion and defense ceremony of Zhiling Wang

My second Ph.D. student got her Ph.D. degree! With an almost flawless defense and a very good Ph.D. thesis Zhiling obviously deserves all the credit. However, I could not resist to post this picture. Somehow, I resemble Jose Mourinho, the angry looking football trainer.

At the promotion of Zhiling Wang

Drawing Edgeworth boxes with LaTeX

Factor mobility and welfare For educational purposes we teach in the second year’s course regional and urban economics students the Edgeworth-Bowley box. At first sight the concept is quite simple, but because there are restrictions for the total amount of both labour and capital in both regions or countries, the intuition behind the model and especially the drawing of the box is rather complex. Therefore, I once wrote a straightforward but elaborate LaTeX script invoking the Tikz package.

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Krugman's Increasing Returns and Economic Geography

Drawing the diagram of a stylized version of Krugman’s Increasing Returns and Economic Geography For educational purposes we teach in the second year’s course regional and urban economics a simplified version of Krugman’s model in his paper titled Increasing Returns and Economic Geography. The model we have adopted goes as follows: We consider a simplified economy with two regions and 1 (million) workers ( $L=1$ ) in total. Region 1 is inhabited by 100,000 farmers (bound to their land so immobile), while in Region 2 there are 200,000 farmers.

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Cultural diversity versus cultural distance

With Zhiling Wang and Peter Nijkamp This study analyses the impact of cultural composition on regional attractiveness from the perspective of international migrant sorting behavior on a European regional NUTS1 level. We use an attitudinal survey to quantify cultural distances between natives and immigrants in the region concerned, and estimate the migrants’ varying preferences for both cultural diversity and cultural distance. To account for regional unobserved heterogeneity, our econometric analysis employs artificial instrumental variables, as developed by Bayer et al.

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