Frank van Oort

Academic Director

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Dr. van Oort obtained his PhD from Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2002 with a doctoral dissertation on agglomeration benefits and innovation in cities. He worked for many years in Utrecht University and was director of the Urban and Regional Research Center Utrecht. He also worked for the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency in The Hague until 2013, on issues related to urban and regional economics, spatial planning and policy development.

Dr. van Oort is specialized in agglomeration economies, urban economics, economic geography, planning and housing, economic networks, urban geography, spatial planning, knowledge economy, European regional development, and urban development in China. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Economic & Social Geography (TESG), editor at the Cambridge Journal of Economy, Regions & Society and until 2010 he was Board member of the Regional Science Association Netherlands. Dr. van Oort combines fundamental research with applied and policy-oriented research. For example, besides NWO and EU funded research, he also conducts research for ministries, cities and regions.  


Karreman, B., Burger, M. J. and Oort, F. G. van, 2016. Locational choices of Chinese multinationals in Europe : the role of overseas communitiesEconomic Geography.

Knoben, J., Arikan A. T., Oort, F. van and Raspe, O. 2016. Agglomeration and firm performance : one firm’s medicine is another firm’s poisonEnvironment and Planning A, 48 (1), pp. 132-153. 

Thissen, M., Graaf, T. de and Oort, F. van, 2016. Competitive network positions in trade and structural economic growth : a geographical weighted regression analysis for European regionsPapers in Regional Science, 19 (1), pp. 159-180. 

Guastella, G. and Oort, F. G. van, 2015. Regional heterogeneity and interregional research spillovers in European innovation : modelling and policy implications. Regional Studies, 49 (11), pp. 1772-1787. 

Oort, F. van, 2015. Unity in variety? Agglomeration economics beyond the specialization-diversity controversy. In: C. Karlsson, M. Andersson and T. Norman eds., 2015. Handbook of research methods and applications in economic geography. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. pp. 259-271. 

Oort, F. van and Cortinovis, N. 2015. Variety, economic growth and knowledge intensity of European regions : a spatial panel analysisThe Annals of Regional Science, 55 (1), pp. 7-32.

Oort, F. van, Geus, S. de and Dogaru, T. 2015. Related variety and regional economic growth in a cross-section of European regions. European Planning Studies, 23 (6), pp. 1110-1127.