Personal profile

Personal information

Frank A.G. den Butter (1948) is a policy oriented  political economist. He studied econometrics at the University of Amsterdam and obtained his PhD from Erasmus University Rotterdam. From 1973-1988 he worked at the Netherlands Central Bank and was involved in economic modelling, policy analysis and research management. Since 1988 he is professor of economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and founded the research team ALERT (Applied Labour Economics Research Team) which has meanwhile obtained an excellent international reputation in its field. From 1989-1996 he was a director of the Tinbergen Institute. From 1998-2002 he was member of the multidisciplinary Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) at the Prime Minister’s office in The Hague. It the major advisory council on long term prospects for strategic government policy. As member of the council he was, amongst others, responsible for the report on “The Netherlands as a trading nation” which was published in 2003 and initiated the founding of the Research Institute for Transaction Management (RITM).

Moreover, Frank den Butter has been chairman of the Royal Netherlands Economic Association (the oldest economists’ association in the world) from 1997-2003 (KVS) and was member of the Central Statistical Committee, the supervisory committee of the Central Bureau of Statistics, (CBS) from 1998-2004. Since 1993 he is member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW). He was member of the economic policy committee of the Social Economic Council (SER), and chaired various academic and governmental committees and bodies. He was chairman of the supervisory committee of the Economic Institute for the Building Industry (EIB) and was involved in research and advisory projects with former prime ministers Lubbers and Balkenende. Outside the Netherlands he has been member of the board of European Association of Labour Economists (EALE) and acted as consultant for OECD, ILO, the government of Ethiopia and the IAB.  He also acted as member of the Netspar council for VU University

At present he is member of the board and secretary of the Stichting mr. N.G. Pierson fonds and member of the scientific advisory council of the Wim Dreesfonds at KHMW 


Political economy, Transaction cost economics, Labour economics, Public sector economics, Monetary economics, Policy modelling, Future studies, Economics of regulation, Environmental economics, Time series analysis.

Research activities

Frank den Butter published about 15 books and over 300 articles, both in the main international journals (e.g. Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Monetary Economics, Applied Statistics, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Institutional Economics and Organization, Economic Modelling, Empirical Economics, Applied Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics, MIT Sloan Management Review, Journal of Productivity Analysis, Journal of Business Ethics) and in policy oriented academic journals in the Netherlands. 


Frank den Butter lectured both in undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate courses in applied economic methods, economic modelling, macroeconomics, political economy, micro economics, public economics, labour economics, monetary economics, international economics, transaction cost economics and ethics. He is also frequently invited for lectures outside academia, for instance for captains of industry and in public administration (e.g. BOFEB).

Ancillary activities

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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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