The Maastricht Research Based Learning for Excellence programme facilitates the development of research projects for highly motivated and excellent undergraduate students.

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Vol 1 (2017): Quantitative Methods in Business and Economics

We publish this volume with rather mixed feelings. Our enthusiastic and inspiring coordinator of the thesis for Econometric and Operations Researech, prof. dr. Jean Pierre Urbain, deceased in October 2016, after a short period of illness.  We are gratefull for his commitment.


Because of a new procedure it was possible to compile a new volume of the marble series rather fast. A new template and organizing the flow of manuscripts makes it more efficient to publish a new volume.


In this volume all the disciplines within the field are represented. Simon Lambert represents the field of econometrics with a thesis on the pre-supposed existence of the role of democratic institutions on income inequalities reduction, using panel data. Peter Zhang of the field of mathematical econometrics focuses on to find optimal locations of two public bads in a region given the preferences of two agents located there, using the lexmin preference as the joint preference of each of the agents for locating pairs of public bads. Tom Kennes’ thesis was in the field of actuarial sciences, focusing on the forecasting mortality rates in the 21st century. Finally, Merit Geldmacher, also one of the winners of the best Bachelor thesis award of the UM, presents her findings in a thesis on Operations research. The aim is at finding a link between image segmentation and equitable partitions, which are a common concept in spectral graph theory.


Enjoy reading,


Jan Nijhuis

February 2017

Table of Contents


Simon Lambert
Peter Zhang
Tom Kennes
Merit Geldmacher