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Peter Mulder (1974) is assistant professor in Spatial Economics. He teaches a variety of course, including microeconomics and urban economics. His research is mainly in the fields of energy economics and the spatial structure of economic development, with a focus on developing countries. 

In 2003, he obtained his Ph.D. from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with a thesis on the economics of technology diffusion and energy efficiency, based on research carried out at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis. Subsequently, he has been an associate research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria, and a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Spatial Economics of VU University Amsterdam.

In 2005 he interrupted academic life to work for two years in Mozambique as a consultant/energy economist for the Danish International Development Agency (Danida), based at the Ministry of Planning & Development and the Ministry of Energy of the Government of Mozambique. In 2007 he returned to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. During the 2011 spring semester he was visiting assistant professor at the Department of Agricultural Economics of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana (USA).

He has been member and chairman of the Educational Committee for the Earth & Economics BSc program at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and member of the Board of Examiners at University College Amsterdam.

Currently is coordinator of a newly established partnership – including teaching and research – between the VU Department of Spatial Economics and the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta.


His current research interests lie mainly in the fields of energy economics and the spatial structure of economic development. He is especially interested in the relationship between energy use and urbanization in developing countries.


Currently he teaches at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam undergraduate courses in Microeconomics, Urban Economics, and Economic Ethics within the Bachelor programs Economics and Earth&Economics. At the University of Amsterdam he teaches an inter-disciplinary urban course within the bachelor program Beta-Gamma.   

Previous teaching includes bachelor courses on Regional Economics (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Sustainable City (Amsterdam University College), International Economic Development (Purdue University USA), a master course in Environmental Economics (Catholic University Mozambique) and coordinator of the Earth&Economics thesis-project (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam).

He is coordinator of the minor Spatial Economics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Previously he has been member and chairman of the Educational Committee for the Earth & Economics BSc program at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and member of the Board of Examiners at University College Amsterdam.

Ancillary activities

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Education / Academic qualification

Economics, PhD, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Economics, Master, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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Selected Research Output 1986 2018

Trade-Facilitated Technology Spillovers in Energy Productivity Convergence Processes across EU Countries

Wan, J., Baylis, K. & Mulder, P. 2015 In : Energy Economics. 48, March, p. 253-264

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Dynamics and determinants of energy intensity in the service sector: A cross-country analysis, 1980–2005

Mulder, P., de Groot, H. L. F. & Pfeiffer, B. 2014 In : Ecological Economics. 100, April, p. 1-15 15 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Energy poverty reduction by fuel switching. Impact evaluation of the LPG conversion program in Indonesia

Andadari, R. K., Mulder, P. & Rietveld, P. 2014 In : Energy Policy. 66, March, p. 436-449

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Economic impacts of cultural diversity in The Netherlands: productivity, utility and sorting

Bakens, J., Mulder, P. & Nijkamp, P. 2013 In : Journal of Regional Science. 53, p. 8-36

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Explaining the Diffusion of Renewable Energy Technology in Developing Countries

Pfeiffer, B. & Mulder, P. 2013 In : Energy Economics. 40, p. 285-296

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Structural Change and Convergence of Energy Intensity across OECD Countries

de Groot, H. L. F. & Mulder, P. 2012 In : Energy Economics. 34, 6, p. 1910-1921

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Rural electrification in an imperfect world: A case study from Mozambique

Mulder, P. & Tembe, J. 2008 In : Energy Policy. 36, p. 2785-2794 9 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Sectoral Energy- and Labour-Productivity Convergence

de Groot, H. L. F. & Mulder, P. 2006 In : Environmental and Resource Economics. 36, p. 85-112 27 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Open Access

The Economics of Technology Diffusion and Energy Efficiency

Mulder, P. 2005 Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. 264 p. (Advances in Ecological Economics)

Research output: ScientificBook

A Vintage of Model Technology Diffusion: The Effect Returns to Diversity and Learning-by-Using

de Groot, H. L. F., Hofkes, M. W. & Mulder, P. 2004 The Monopolistic Competition Revolution in Retrospect. Brakman, S. & Heijdra, B. J. (eds.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 356-372 16 p.

Research output: ScientificChapter