René Bekkers extraordinary professor

Posted on May 17, 2013 in News Archive

René Bekkers extraordinary professor

René Bekkers has been appointed as extraordinary professor in Social aspects of prosocial behavior at the Faculty of Social Sciences at VU University Amsterdam.

The chair is supported by the Van der Gaag Foundation of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) for a period of five years. Bekkers’ appointment has started 1 January 2013.

In his research Bekkers will focus on the explanation of philanthropic behavior. Why do people volunteer and why do they donate money to charitable causes? Who gives the highest amounts and is most likely to volunteer? In which circumstances do people become more generous? How does giving behavior change over time? The economic crisis as well as cutbacks in government subsidies have recently made these questions more relevant.

The new chair strengthens VU University’s international position in philathropic research. Since 1995 VU University conducts the biennial Giving in the Netherlands Survey, which yields macro-economic estimates of giving and volunteering in the Netherlands. Bekkers has contributed to this research since 2000, focusing on methodological quality and explanations of philanthropic behavior. In his research, Bekkers connects explanations for prosocial behavior from psychology, sociology and economics, using a variety of methods including surveys and experiments.

As extraordinary professor Bekkers will conduct research on social determinants of prosocial behavior, particularly of philanthropy. In his inaugural lecture at VU University Amsterdam on April 25, 2013, Bekkers has presented his research agenda.

To read more about René Bekkers click here.