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Full-time Academic Staff: Teaching Staff

Professor Frank van der Wouden


Room 10.37

391 77020

Assistant Professor

BSc, MSc (Utrecht); PhD (UCLA)




Frank van der Wouden’s general research interests are the spatial uneven distribution of economic activities and networks of collaboration that link together people and places. Common topics in his research are innovation, collaboration, learning and cities. His work uses data-mining tools, machine learning techniques, methods from social network analysis and econometric models. Frank holds a PhD in Economic Geography form the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining the department, Frank was a post-doctoral researcher at the Management & Organizations department at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and affiliate of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems.

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Research Interests
  • Innovation

  • Collaboration

  • Technological change

  • Cities

  • Impact of distance on socio-economic activity

  • Computational social science

  • Economic growth

  • Mobility

  • Network Science

  • Machine Learning



Economic and Social Development in an Urbanizing World



Annual; 1st Semester


Economic Geography



Annual; 1st Semester

Selected Publications


  • Van der Wouden, F. (2019) “History of Collaboration in US Invention: Changing Patterns of Co-invention, Complexity and Geography.” Industrial and Corporate Change, dtz058. DOI: 10.1093/icc/dtz058 (IF2018=1.824).

  • Van der Wouden, F. and Rigby, D. L. (2019) “Co-inventor Networks and Knowledge Production in Specialized and Diversified Cities.” Papers in Regional Science 98(4): 1833-1853. DOI: 10.1111/pirs.12432 (IF2018=2.020).

  • Van Niftrik, C. H. B., Van Der Wouden, F., Staartjes, V. E., Fierstra, J., Stienen, M. N., Akeret, K., Sebok, M., Fedele, T., Sarnthein, J., Bozinov, O., Krayenbuhl, N., Regli, L. and Serra, C. (2019) “Machine Learning Algorithm Identifies Patients at High Risk for Early Complications after Intracranial Tumor Surgery: Registry-based Cohort Study.” Neurosurgery 85(4): E756-764. DOI: 10.1093/neuros/nyz145 (IF2018=4.605).

Policy Recommendations

van Oort, F. & T. de Graaff, H. Koster, H. Olden & F. van der Wouden (2013), “The city as the Engine of Growth: Theoretical exploration, empirical analysis and policy recommendations for the Randstad”  (for Ministry of Internal Affairs of The Netherlands)

Selected Research Projects
  • Impact of geographical distance on learning through collaboration (with Kellogg School of Management)

  • Effects of network distance on knowledge combination (with Harvard and Kellogg School of Management)

  • What technological combinations are more likely to drive innovation? (with ESMT and Kellogg School of Management)

  • Simultaneous innovation in Evolutionary Medicine (with Arizona State University & Kellogg School of Management)

  • Collaboration and learning in Creative Industries (with Erasmus School of Economics)

  • Using machine learning to predict Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (with University Hospital Zurich)

Invited Talks, Lectures & Keynotes
  • 2019    Lecture:           Inventor Mobility and Productivity    (Utrecht University)

  • 2019    Keynote:         Machine Learning using Individual-level data (Zurich)        

  • 2018    Lecture:           Historical US Inventor Collaboration (Utrecht University)       

  • 2017    Workshop:      Relatedness & Regional Development (Harvard Kennedy School)

  • 2017    Lecture:           Humans, economics & environment (UCLA)               

  • 2016    Keynote:         The Captains of Industry Conference (The Hague)

  • 2016    Lecture:           Evolutionary Economic Geography - new insights (Utrecht University)

  • 2015    Lecture:           Multinational Corporations & Development (UCLA)

  • 2015    Workshop:      Geography of Networks (Utrecht University)

Selected Awards and Grants
  • 2018    University Fellowship - UCLA Geography Department                  

  • 2017    Graduate Student Grant - UCLA Center for Economic History            

  • 2017    Dissertation Year Fellowship - UCLA Graduate Division                                  

  • 2017    Outstanding Teaching Certificate - UCLA Geography Department      

  • 2016    Graduate Student Grant - UCLA Center for Economic History             

  • 2015    Haynes Lindley Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship - Haynes Foundation                    

  • 2015    Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Award - UCLA Graduate Division                           

  • 2013    PhD funding offer - UCLA Graduate Division

  • 2013    University Fellowship - UCLA Graduate Division                           

  • 2013    Bernhard Fellow - Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds

  • 2013    Fundatie van Renswoude Fellow - Fundatie van de Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude    

  • 2013    Marc de Smidt Prize - Best Master Thesis - Faculty GeoSciences Utrecht University            

  • 2013    Marc de Smidt Prize - Best Presentation - Faculty GeoSciences Utrecht University

Journal Reviews

Industry and Innovation, Research Policy, Journal of Economic Geography, Academy of Management, PLOS One, Papers in Regional Science, Scientometrics

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