Institute of Sociology

Prof. Dr. Herman van de Werfhorst

Distinguished visiting professor


Postal address:

UvA, Department of Sociology
Postbus 15508,
1001 NA Amsterdam
The Netherlands

E-Mail:  H.G.vandeWerfhorstspam


Herman van de Werfhorst is holding a compact research seminar for doctoral candidates and faculty at the University of Tübingen once a year. The topics of the seminars are announced well in advance through various distribution channels. The last workshop took place on 1 and 2 October 2018 and was entitled: "Educational inequalities: psychological and sociological processes". More detailed information about the content and the programme can be found under Events.


Herman van de Werfhorst is Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam, and director of the Amsterdam Centre for Inequality Studies (AMCIS) which is sponsored by a Research Priority Area "Institutions and Inequality" of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences of UvA.

He obtained his PhD at the University of Nijmegen in 2001. From 2000-2002 he was a Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Since 2002 he has been teaching Sociology at the department of Sociology of the University of Amsterdam, since 2007 as full professor.

Herman van de Werfhorst has been involved in the acquisition of various large research grants, including a EU FP6 Network of Excellence EQUALSOC (2005-2010), an FP7 Collaborative research project GINI (2010-2013), a personal NWO-Vidi grant (2007-2012), an NWO-PROO collaborative research programme (2011-2015), and a personal NWO-Vici grant (2015-2020).

Research interests:
  • Sociology of Education
  • Social Stratification and Mobility
  • Labour Market Sociology
  • Quantitative Methodology & Statistics

Books and Special Editions

  • Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. 2015 (ed.). Een kloof van alle tijden. Verschillen tussen lager en hoger opgeleiden in werk, cultuur en politiek. Amsterdam University Press.
  • Salverda, W., Nolan, B., Checchi, D., Marx, I., McKnight, A., Tóth, I. G., & Van de Werfhorst, H. (Eds.). 2014. Changing inequalities in rich countries: analytical and comparative perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Nolan, B., Salverda, W., Checchi, D., Marx, I., McKnight, A., Tóth, I. G., & van de Werfhorst, H. G. (Ed.). 2014. Changing inequalities and societal impacts in rich countries: thirty countries' experiences. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. & Salverda, Wiemer (eds.) 2012. Consequences of Economic Inequality: Special Issue. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, vol. 30.
  • Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. (ed.). 2008. Educational Fields of Study and European Labour Markets: Special Issue. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, vol. 49 (4-5).


  • Checchi, Daniele, & Van de Werfhorst, Herman G.* 2017. Policies, Skills and Earnings: How Educational Inequality Affects Earnings Inequality, Socio-Economic Review, in press. * Equal contributions.
  • Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. 2017. Vocational and Academic Education and Political Engagement: The Importance of the Educational Institutional Structure. Comparative Education Review, in press.
  • Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. 2017. Gender Segregation across Fields of Study in Post-Secondary Education: Trends and Social Differentials. European Sociological Review, 33(3): 449-464.
  • DiPrete, Thomas A., Bol, Thijs, Ciocca, Christina, and Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. 2017. School to Work Linkages in the United States, Germany, and France. American Journal of Sociology, 122(6): 1869-1938.
  • Haas, Christina and Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. 2017. Ahead of the Pack? Explaining the Unequal Distribution of Scholarships in Germany. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 38(5): 705-720.
  • Kalmijn, Matthijs & Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. 2016. Sibship Size and Gendered Resource Dilution in Different Societal Contexts. PLoS ONE 11(8): e0160953.
  • Di Stasio, Valentina & Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. 2016. Why does education matter to employers in different institutional contexts? A vignette study in England and the Netherlands. Social Forces, 95(1): 77–106.
  • Forster, Andrea, Bol, Thijs, & Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. 2016. Vocational Education and Employment over the Life-cycle. Sociological Science, 3: 473-494.
  • Di Stasio, Valentina, Bol, Thijs and Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. 2016. What makes education positional? Institutions, overeducation and the competition for jobs. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 43: 53-63.
  • Breen, Richard, Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. Jaeger, Mads Meier. 2014. Deciding under Doubt: A Theory of Risk Aversion, Time Discounting Preferences and Educational Decision Making. European Sociological Review, 30(2): 258–270.
  • Bol, Thijs, Witschge, Jacqueline, Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. and Dronkers, Jaap. 2014. Curricular Tracking and Central Examinations: Counterbalancing the Impact of Social Background on Student Achievement in 36 Countries. Social Forces, 92(4): 1545-1572.
  • Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. 2011. Skills, Positional Good, or Social Closure? The Role of Education across Structural-Institutional Labour Market Settings. Journal of Education and Work, 24, 5, 521–548.
  • Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. 2011. Skill and Education Effects on Earnings in 18 Countries: The Role of National Educational Institutions. Social Science Research, 40: 1078–1090.
  • Barone, C & Van de Werfhorst, HG 2011. Education, Cognitive Skills and Earnings in Comparative Perspective. International Sociology, 26(4) 483–502.
  • Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. & Mijs. Jonathan J.B. 2010. Achievement inequality and the institutional structure of educational systems: A comparative perspective. Annual Review of Sociology, 36, 407-428.
  • Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. & Luijkx, Ruud. 2010. Educational Field of Study and Social Mobility: Disaggregating Social Origin and Education. Sociology, 44(4): 695–715.
  • Andersen, Robert & Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. 2010. Education and Occupational Status in 14 Countries: The Role of Educational Institutions and Labour Market Coordination. British Journal of Sociology, 61, 2, 336-355.