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Mathijs De Vaan - Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, CA, US

Mathijs De Vaan Mathijs De Vaan

Assistant Professor | Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley


Leading expert on social networks in health care


Areas of Expertise (4)

Network Analysis

Health Care Management

Economic Sociology

Research Design and Methods


Mathijs De Vaan is an Assistant Professor at the Haas School of Business. He earned his PhD from the Department of Sociology at Columbia University after defending his dissertation in June 2015.

Mathijs’ main research agenda focuses on social networks in health care. Motivated by the high level of variation in the cost and quality of care, Mathijs’ research examines the role of relationships between patients, between physicians, and between patients and physicians in the emergence and persistence of this variation. A second line of inquiry focuses on inequality in the production of science.

Education (5)

Columbia University: PhD, Sociology

Columbia University: MPhil, Sociology

Utrecht University: PhD, Economics/Geography

Utrecht University: MA, Economics

Utrecht University: BA, Economics

Languages (4)

  • Dutch (Native)
  • English (Fluent)
  • French (Intermediate)
  • German (Intermediate)

Positions Held (1)

At Haas since 2015

2015 – present, Assistant Professor, Haas School of Business

Media Appearances (3)

UC Berkeley Researchers: Opioid Addiction Is A Family Affair

KCBS Radio  radio


Researchers Toby Stuart and Mathijs de Vaan of Berkeley Haas have uncovered another possible reason the opioid crisis has gotten so bad in the U.S.: family connections.

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Is the Opioid Epidemic Driven By Family Consumption?

The Crime Report  online


The study, conducted by Mathijs de Vaan and Toby Stuart, sociologists at the Haas School of Business of the University of California at Berkeley, found that if one family member uses prescription opioids, it’s likely that others in the family will soon be using them, too. The researchers analyzed hundreds of millions of medical claims and nearly 14.5 million opioid prescriptions in Massachusetts between 2010 and 2015.

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CEO's salaries are best compared to peers. But how do you prevent cheating?

MT: Next Generation Leadership (Dutch)  online


Research by Asst. Prof. Mathijs De Vaan found that a rule designed to make executive compensation more transparent has also given companies a tool to push CEO pay even higher. Companies are required to benchmark CEO pay against execs at peer companies, but they commonly choose peers that are skewed toward the higher end on compensation. "You would think that these peer groups ensure that a salary cannot become excessive compared to other CEOs," said De Vaan. "But the point is that it is not very easy to determine what such a peer groups should look like."

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Selected Papers & Publications (8)

Does Intra-household Contagion Cause an Increase in Prescription Opioid Use?

American Sociological Review

Mathijs de Vaan and Toby Stuart

June 2019

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Obscured Transparency? Compensation Benchmarking and the Biasing of Executive Pay

Management Science

De Vaan, M., Elbers, B. and DiPrete, T.


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The Matthew Effect in Science Funding

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Thijs Bol, Mathijs De Vaan, Arnout van de Rijt


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Game Changer: The Topology of Creativity

American Journal of Sociology

Mathijs De Vaan, David Stark, Balazs Vedres


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Interfirm Networks in Periods of Technological Turbulence and Stability

Research Policy

Mathijs De Vaan


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Clustering and Firm Performance in Project-based Industries

The Journal of Economic Geography

Mathijs De Vaan, Ron Boschma, and Koen Frenken


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The Dynamics of Interfirm Networks along the Industry Life Cycle

The Journal of Economic Geography

Pierre-Alexandre Balland, Mathijs De Vaan, and Ron Boschma


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Social Learning in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Community Establishments’ Closure Decisions Follow Those of Nearby Chain Establishments.

Management Science (forthcoming)

Saqib Choudhary, Mathijs De Vaan, Abhishek Nagaraj and Sameer Srivastava


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Teaching (2)

Leading People

MBA Core Course

Research in Macro-Organizational Behavior

PhD Seminar