About me

I do research on what I would broadly describe as socio-economic policy, in the intersection of sociology, economics and the occasional a bit of political science.

I have a broad range of interests. I started out as a social policy researcher, focusing on understanding the income distribution, poverty and the effectiveness of policies to combat poverty.

For my doctorate I delved into the impact of labour market change – especially the post-industrial transition – on poverty and the effectiveness of minimum income protection. This started a long-standing research line on the issue of in-work poverty and what to do about it. Later in my career I started to ventured out into other topics, including migration (especially labour migration) and wealth.

I am at present a Professor of Socio-Economic Policy at the University of Antwerp and serve as Director of the Centre for Social Policy Herman Deleeck. I coordinate the Antwerp Inderdisciplinary Platform for Inequality Research. I also chair the interdisciplinary Bachelor and Master Programme in Socio-Economic Sciences. I am Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor IZA in Bonn. I have been an Advanced Research Fellow at the Graduate Center of CUNY, New York.

I have been involved in a number of international research projects. I was joint-coordinator of the EU funded European Low Wage Research Network (LoWER) and the EU FP7 funded GINI Project, a large international research project on the causes and consequences of inequality.

I have published a number of books, including ‘A New Social Question: on Minimum Income protection in the Post-Industrial Era (Amsterdam University Press/ University of Chigaco Press), ‘Minimum Income Protection in Flux’ (Palgrave, with Kenneth Nelson) and two volumes on changing inequalities and societal impacts published with Oxford University Press. I acted as editor of the Handbook of In-Work Poverty, published with Edward Elgar in 2018. Together with Sarah Marchal I just completed a book on minimum income protection, forthcoming with OUP.

Articles have appeared in such journals as the International Labour ReviewJournal of Public EconomicsJournal of Social PolicyEuropean Sociological ReviewSocial ForcesEuropean Journal of Industrial RelationsJournal of Common Market StudiesInternational Journal of Comparative SociologyJournal of European Social PolicySocial Indicators ResearchIZA Journal of European Labour StudiesReview of Income and Wealth, and several other journals.

I do research to have a real world impact. For that reason I have also acted as a consultant. for the European Commission, the OECD and the ILO in numerous capacities and also for the World Bank, UNDP and various governments and organisations.

I sit on the editorial boards of Social Forces, Journal of Social Policy, Social Inclusion and European Policy Analysis. I am. amember of the board of Espanet, Europe’s leading network of social policy researchers.

Besides academia, I participate in public debates on policy issues through talks, debates and non-academic publications, including a regular column in Belgium’s main broadsheet De Standaard.