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. 7815

The literature on neighbourhood effects suggests that the lack of social mobility of some groups has a spatial dimension. It is thought that those living in the most deprived neighbourhoods are the least likely to achieve upward mobility because of a range of negative neighbourhood effects. Most studies investigating such...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7526
published as 'Neighbourhood Selection of Non-Western Ethnic Minorities: Testing the Own-Group Effects Hypothesis Using a Conditional Logit Model' in: Environment and Planning A, 2015, 47(5), 1155-1174

The selective inflow and outflow of residents by ethnicity is the main mechanism behind ethnic residential segregation. Many studies have found that ethnic minorities are more likely than others to move to ethnic minority concentration neighbourhoods. An important question which remains largely unanswered is to what extent this can be...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7525
published in: [Progress in Human Geography], 2015.

While researchers are increasingly reconceptualising international migration, less interest is being shown in rethinking the geographies of short-distance residential mobility and immobility. Short-distance moves are crucial for the structuration of everyday life, the operation of housing and labour markets and the (re)production of social inequalities. This paper argues that a...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7510
published in: [Urban Studies], 2016.

In the neighbourhood effects literature, the socialisation mechanism is usually investigated by looking at the association between neighbourhood characteristics and educational attainment. The step in between, that adolescents actually internalise educational norms held by residents, is often assumed. We attempt to fill this gap by looking at how educational commitments...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7168
published in: [Cityscape], 2013, 15 (2), 101-117

In the last few decades, urban renewal policies have taken firm root in many Western European countries. Underlying these renewal policies is a strong belief in negative neighborhood effects of living in poverty concentration areas, often neighborhoods with a large share of social housing. In Europe, great importance is attached...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7012
R?ta Ubarevi?ien?, Donatas Burneika, Maarten van Ham
published as: 'Ethno-political Effects of Suburbanization in the Vilnius Urban Region. An Analysis of Voting Behaviour' in: Journal of Baltic Studies [Online First]

This paper analyses the interrelationship between the process of suburbanization and a changing political and ethnic landscape in the Vilnius urban region. The region surrounding Vilnius city is dominated by Polish identity residents while those who suburbanise into the region are mainly ethnic Lithuanians. This may lead to potential tension...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6794
published as 'Cumulative Exposure to Disadvantage and the Intergenerational Transmission of Neighbourhood Effects' in: [Journal of Economic Geography], 2015, 15(1), 195-215

Studies of neighbourhood effects typically investigate the instantaneous effect of point-in-time measures of neighbourhood poverty on individual outcomes. It has been suggested that it is not solely the current neighbourhood, but also the neighbourhood history of an individual that is important in determining an individual's outcomes. The effect of long-term...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6793
published in: [Environment and Planning A], 2012, 44 (12), 2787-2793

Neighbourhood effects research is at a crossroads since current theoretical and empirical approaches do not seem to be moving the debate forward. In this paper, we present a set of ten challenges as a basis for a new research agenda which will give new direction to the neighbourhood effects debate....

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6572
published as 'Intergenerational transmission of neighbourhood poverty. An analysis of neighbourhood histories of individuals' in: [Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers], 2014, 39, 402-417

The extent to which socioeconomic (dis)advantage is transmitted between generations is receiving increasing attention from academics and policymakers. However, few studies have investigated whether there is a spatial dimension to this intergenerational transmission of (dis)advantage. Drawing upon the concept of a neighbourhood biography, this study contends that there are links...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6394
published as: 'A longitudinal study of migration propensities for mixed ethnic unions in England and Wales' in: [Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies], 2014, 40 (3), 384-403

Most studies investigating residential segregation of ethnic minorities ignore the fact that the majority of adults live in couples. In recent years there has been a growth in the number of mixed ethnic unions that involve a minority member and a white member. To our knowledge, hardly any research has...