Maarten van Ham is a Professor of Urban Renewal, Neighbourhood Change and Housing at OTB-Research for the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and Professor of Human Geography at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He studied Economic Geography at Utrecht University, where he received his MSc in 1998 and his PhD in 2002. Maarten was a visiting Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin (2001 and 2003) and worked at Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam before moving to the University of St Andrews in 2006. In St Andrews Maarten was director of research of the Centre for Housing Research (CHR). In 2011 Maarten moved to Delft University of Technology where he has a full chair position.

His research interests can be broadly defined as the causes and consequences of family migration: why do people move residence and what are the consequences of moving for the housing, household and labour career? Initially his research focused on the links between residential location, migration and occupational achievement, including overeducation. In recent years his interests have broadened to include: selective mobility into and out of neighbourhoods; neighbourhood effects (see:; migration and home ownership in Europe; mixed-ethnic unions; and international marriage migration. He currently works on projects in the UK, Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania and the Netherlands. Maarten published in international journals such as Environment and Planning A; Urban Studies; Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies; Housing Studies; Demography; Demographic Research; Regional Studies; Population, Space and Place; Applied Economics Quarterly; Journal of Urban Economics. In 2014 Maarten has won an ERC grant. See:

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in March 2009.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 9602
published as: 'Types of spatial mobility and change in people's ethnic residential contexts' in: Demographic Research, 2016, 34, 1161-1192

Most studies of the ethnic composition of destination neighbourhoods after residential moves do not take into account the types of moves people have made. However, from an individual perspective, different types of moves may result in neighbourhood environments that differ in terms of their ethnic composition from those in which...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9557

It is well-known that socioeconomic outcomes and (dis)advantage over the life course can be transmitted from parent to child. It is increasingly suggested that these intergenerational effects also have a spatial dimension, although empirical research into this topic remains scarce. Previous research from Sweden and the United States shows that...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9111

Modern welfare policies are increasingly based on notions of reciprocity. Citizens on welfare benefits have to do something in return, e.g. volunteer work. Notwithstanding general public support, social philosophers have been critical on 'mandatory' activities in community programmes. So far, the participants themselves have scarcely been asked about the (un)fairness...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8932
published as 'Relations between residential and workplace segregation among newly arrived immigrant men and women' in: Cities, 2016

Contemporary cities are becoming more and more diverse in population as a result of immigration. Research also shows that within cities residential neighborhoods are becoming ethnically more diverse, but that residential segregation has remained persistently high. High levels of segregation are often seen as negative, preventing integration of immigrants in...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8882

There is increasing evidence that our societies are polarizing. Most studies focus on labour market and educational outcomes and show a socioeconomic polarization of the bottom and top ends of the population distribution. Processes of social polarization have a spatial dimension which should be visible in the changing mosaic of...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8777
published as: "The Potential of Community Entrepreneurship for Neighbourhood Revitalization in the United Kingdom and the United States". published in: [ Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy], 2015, 9(3), 253-276.

Through a review of the recent American community development literature, this paper tests the assertion that British community enterprises (CEs) are fundamentally similar to American community development corporations (CDCs), and therefore, that CEs can learn from CDCs. In the context of the current austerity regimes, CEs and community entrepreneurship are...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8749
published online in: [Urban Geography], 22 Jan 2016

Neighborhood decline is a complex and multidimensional process. National and regional variation in economic and political structures (including variety in national welfare state arrangements), combined with differences in neighborhood history, development and population composition, makes it extremely difficult to identify a unilateral process of neighborhood decline over time. Some scholars...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8660

The aging population of European cities raises enormous challenges with regard to employment, pensions, health care and other age-related services. The housing preferences of the aging population are changing rapidly where more and more people want to live independent lives for as long as possible. At the same time governments...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8461

Selective mobility into and out of neighbourhoods is one of the driving forces of segregation. Empirical research has revealed who wants to leave certain types of neighbourhoods or who leaves certain neighbourhoods. A factor which has received little attention so far is that some residents will have a desire to...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8026
R?ta Ubarevi?ien?, Maarten van Ham, Donatas Burneika
published in: [Urban Studies Research], 2016.

Shrinking populations have been gaining increasing attention, especially in post-socialist East and Central European countries. While most studies focus on the population decline of capital cities and their regions, much less is known about the spatial dimension of population decline on the national level. Lithuania is one of the countries...