Personal profile

Personal information

Hans Koster (1987) is Professor of Urban Economics and Real Estate at the Department of Spatial Economics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Hans obtained his bachelor’s degree in Economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and his master’s degree (cum laude) in Spatial Economics at the VU. He defended his Ph.D. thesis in 2013. Hans is also Research Fellow with the Tinbergen Institute and affilated to the CEPR.


Hans’s research concerns the economic analysis of cities, regions and the environment. In an ever-changing urban world, there are several important questions that require answers. For example, how do we cope with the challenges of a steadily increasing urban population? How do people and firms compete for space? What are the costs and benefits of land use regulations? Should we invest public money in deprived neighbourhoods to reduce spatial disparities? These and other questions Hans is trying to answer using big data and advanced econometric techniques.


2019 – Ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat, Onderzoeksgrant for project "The Effects of Wind Turbines and Solar Farms on Housing Markets"
2018 - IAS Vanguard Fellowship at University of Birmingham for project "Skills Mismatch and Agglomeration"
2016 – Research grant from Academisch Fonds Vastgoedkunde for project "Bricks, Buildings and Boroughs"
2014 – VENI grant for project “Places, planning, prices and politics: The Welfare Economics of Urban Planning”.
2014 – Data-without-boundaries grant (EU funded) for project “Land Use Planning, Agglomeration Economies And The Office Market: Evidence From Blitz Bombings” – with Gerard Dericks (Oxford University)
2012 – LSE STICERD grant for project “The Determinants of Residential Vacancy Rates” – with Paul Cheshire (LSE) and Christian Hilber (LSE)

Prizes and Awards

empty2020 2020 – Sakıp Sabancı International Research Award for paper "The Welfare Effects of Greenbelt Policy: Evidence from England"

2016 – Journal of Economic Geography Best Referee Award

2015 – Van der Knaap Prize for dissertation “The Internal Structure of Cities: The Economics of Agglomeration, Amenities and Accessibility”. 

2014 – August Lösch Prize for dissertation “The Internal Structure of Cities: The Economics of Agglomeration, Amenities and Accessibility”. 

2013 – Finalist (1/3) for Junior Societal Impact Award at VU University Amsterdam 

Ancillary activities

  • Centraal Planbureau | The Hague | Adviseur | 2021-09-01 - present
  • Serve the City Utrecht | Utrecht | Bestuurder | 2023-09-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

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 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


  • G Geography (General)
  • HB Economic Theory
  • HE Transportation and Communications
  • HA Statistics

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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