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PhD position: Behavioral law and economics project on: Why do firms comply?

We are looking for an enthusiastic researcher with a Master’s degree in criminology, economics, law or another relevant social science discipline. Primary requirements are affinity with empirical research into the question as to why firms do or do not comply with rules.

ongeveer 2 maanden geleden


De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
32 - 40 uur
€ 2434 - € 3111 per maand


Legal norms aim to promote socially desirable behaviour and to police undesirable actions. Analysing what shapes the effective observance of these norms and how to promote this in a legitimate manner is a fundamental social issue. As our society is largely organised based on private property and markets, what drives the compliance specifically of firms – such as not infringing antitrust – is key. This also effects society’s ability to attain its objectives – such as promoting sustainability and climate change – and thereby its potential to meet challenges and renew itself.
The proposed PhD project will address the following three overarching questions:
1. Why do firms comply with rules (or not)?
2. What is the role of the behaviour of individual corporate officers, company boards, and groups of firms in markets in this context?
3. How can such compliance be encouraged in a manner that is both effective and legitimate?
These questions will be addressed from a behavioural law and economics perspective. The aim is to advance this field by looking at different levels of analysis, and to shed light on promoting firms’ compliance in practice. This involves studying the issue at three levels – the individual corporate officer, the company board, and market interaction with other firms – and devising workable and meaningful empirical tests to do so. The proposed methodology is that of experimental empirical research based successively on an international vignettes study and a series of interactive games. The intended factual context is that of antitrust compliance and sustainability agreements.

Your duties

  • carrying out scientific research under supervision for a period of four years, culminating in a PhD degree in law and/or economics (according to your preference)
  • independent data collection, under supervision
  • analysing quantitative and (to a lesser extent) qualitative data
  • writing scientific publications towards a PhD thesis
  • presenting research findings for a scientific as well as a general audience
  • teaching (to a maximum of 10% of your hours)


  • a completed relevant Master’s degree in the social sciences
  • a verifiable interest in research, and affinity with the topic and methods of the PhD project
  • good academic English language skills (speaking and writing) are needed,(passive) knowledge of Dutch is a plus
  • verifiable skills in quantitative data-analysis and statistical software (such as SPSS; R)
  • experience with research and prior own publications are a plus


A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,434 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,111 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • discount on (and occasionally exclusive access to) theater performances and courses at the Griffioen Cultural Center
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance)