Photo of Sjak Smulders
  • Warandelaan 2, Koopmans Building, room K 346

    5037 AB Tilburg


1991 …2019

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Smulders' research examines the impact of environmental and energy policies on economic growth as well as the sources of economic growth in a variety of contexts. He has analysed under what conditions economic growth can be sustained without deteriorating environmental quality. Recent work has focused on the question whether the stimulation of technological change can reduce the cost of environmental policies in general and the cost of climate change and energy conservation policies in particular. Ongoing projects study the role of consumption and habits for growth and environment. Most of the work is based on small analytical models in the endogenous growth tradition. Other interests include public economics, economic history, and international trade.


  • Leibniz-Professur Winter Semester 2018-2019, Leipzig University.
  • Present Full Professor of Economics Tilburg University, since April 2006 (on leave  2006-2008)
  • Adjunct Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, since December 2008.  
  • Full Professor of Economics and Svare Chair of Energy Systems Analysis, Department of Economics and Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and the Economy, University of Calgary, 2006-2008
  • Associate Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics, Tilburg University, April 2001 to April 2006 (tenured as of May 2002).
  • Fellow Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), April 1999 to March 2004
  • Fellow Netherlands Network of Economics (NAKE), 1998 to present.
  • Fellow CentER Graduate School, Tilburg University, September 1994 to present.
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Faculty of Economics, Stanford University, USA, September 1995 to June 1996
  • Assistant Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics, Tilburg University, May 1994 to March 2001


Sjak Smulders has taught Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Growth theory, Environmental economics, Trade, Economy and culture (in the Liberal Arts programm) at Bachelor, MSc, and Research Master level. He has been Academic Director of the Tilburg MSc Economics program since 2010.

Current courses

Click here for my courses.

PhD supervision

Thesis supervision

  • Inge van den Bijgaart. Essays in Environmental Economics. 2016. (currently at Gothenborg University)
  • Mauricio Rodriguez-Acosta. Essays in Political Economy and Resource Economics. 2016. (currently at Rosario, Bogota).

  • Ali Motavasseli. Essays in Environmental Policy and Household Economics. 2016.

  • Mahsa Jahan Dideh. Essays on Public Economics. 2016.

  • Malik Curuk. Essays on Economic Growth and International Trade. 2014 (currently at Bogazici University).

  • Gerard van der Meijden. The Macroeconomic Dynamics of Trade Liberalization, Resource Exploitation, and Backstop Technologies. 2013. (Gerard is currently at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Christian Bogmans. Essays on International Trade and the Environment. 2011. (currently at IMF, Washington)

  • Armando Zavaleta Government, Lobbies, International Cooperation and the Environment, University of Calgary December 2011 (co-supervisor; Joanne Roberts supervisor)

  • Itzi Lazkano. University of Calgary, Intergenerational externalities, Economic Growth and the Environment. 2011 (co-supervisor; Francisco Gonzales supervisor; Itzi is currently at University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee).

  • Piotr Stryszowski. Essays on Growth and Migration. 2009. (currently at OECD, Paris).

  • Juan Moreno-Cruz. Essays on the economics of Geoengineering 2009 (currently at Georgia Tech)

  • Edwin van der Werf Climate change policy and endogenous technological change. 2008 (currently at Wageningen Research University)

  • Corrado Di Maria Choosing the direction: Essays on Directed Technical Change, Trade and the Environment 2006. (currently at University of East Anglia)

  • Martin Kahanec Essays on Social Interaction and Earnings Inequality 2006. (currently at Central European University, Budapest)

External positions

Guest Professorship Winter semester 2018/2019 (Universitaet Leipzig)

1 Oct 201831 Mar 2019


  • Economic History
  • Economics
  • Sustainable Development
  • International Trade
  • Economic Growth
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental Economics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Industrial Organization
  • Growth Theories

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Research Output

Discounting in the presence of scarce ecosystem services

Zhu, X., Smulders, S. & de Zeeuw, A., Nov 2019, In : Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. 98, 102272.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
  • How important are uncertainty and dynamics for environmental and climate policy? Some analytics

    Schubert, K. & Smulders, S., Sep 2019, In : Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. 97, p. 1-22

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialScientificpeer-review

  • Brown growth, green growth, and the efficiency of urbanization

    Smulders, S. & Quaas, M., Oct 2018, In : Environmental & Resource Economics. 71, 2, p. 529-549

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    Does a recession call for less stringent environmental policy? A partial-equilibrium second-best analysis

    van den Bijgaart, I. M. & Smulders, S., Aug 2018, In : Environmental & Resource Economics. 70, 4, p. 807-834

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


    van Soest, D., Gerlagh, R. & Smulders, S., 1 Nov 2018, Klimaatbeleid: Kosten, Kansen en Keuzes. van Soest, D. P., Smulders, J. A. & Gerlagh, R. (eds.). Koninklijke Vereniging voor de Staatshuishoudkunde, Vol. Preadviezen 2018. p. 6-7 (Preadviezen van de Koninklijke Vereniging voor Staathuishoudkunde).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional


    Leipzig University

    Sjak Smulders (Visiting researcher)
    Dec 2018Mar 2019

    Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institutionScientific


    Sjak Smulders (Keynote speaker)
    5 Sep 20167 Sep 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific

    Environmental and Resource Economics (Journal)

    Sjak A. Smulders (Editorial board member)
    2012 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activityScientific

    CPB Academic Partner

    Sjak Smulders (Consultant)

    Activity: Consultancy typesConsultancyProfessional

    European Association of Environmental and Resource Economics (External organisation)

    Sjak Smulders (Member)

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of committeeScientific


    The macroeconomic dynamics of trade liberalization, resource exploitation, and backstop technologies

    van der Meijden, G. C., Smulders, S. & Ligthart, J. E.


    Project: Research project

    Essays on international trade and the environment

    Bogmans, C. W. J. & Smulders, S.


    Project: Research project

    Essays on growth and convergence

    Stryszowski, P. K., Francois, P. & Smulders, S.


    Project: Research project

    Climate change policy and endogenous technological change

    van der Werf, E. H. & Smulders, S.


    Project: Research project

    Prizes / Recognition