Who we are

More than 75 years of experience

SEO Amsterdam Economics was founded in 1949, by the Economic Faculty of the University of Amsterdam, to encourage applied research. This makes SEO one of the Netherlands’ oldest economic research agencies. SEO Amsterdam Economics was transformed into a foundation independent from the University in the nineteen-eighties, although it retains close links with the academic community.

Our clients are many and varied: we work for ministries, companies and institutions in the non-profit sector, both nationally and internationally. SEO Amsterdam Economics is an independent organisation: as we are not linked to specific interests or parties, we are often requested to carry research into ‘open questions’. In general, SEO reports are made public to guarantee our autonomy and scientific quality.

SEO Amsterdam Economics is a medium-sized, horizontal organisation. We have a scientific staff of about 55, the majority of whom are economists or econometricians. As the occasion arises our staff carry out research in cooperation with scientists from other disciplines.


More than 75 years of experience

More than 1000 publications

Working for over 40 different organisations

Experienced in conducting research for the government

Quality Assurance

SEO Amsterdam Economics: solid research, sound advice

SEO stands out in the market for contract research by the high quality of our research. We continually invest in the scientific quality of our researchers by making a part of our profit available for conference attendance and by writing scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals.

In our applied research for customers we use insights from scientific literature. In order to safeguard the scientific quality and independence of our reports they are, as a rule, public. By making our research, scientific publications and presentations public, we stay alert. At the same time publication allows us to assess whether the most important developments in the field are correctly included in our applied research.

SEO Amsterdam Economics has been awarded ISO 9001 certification by DNV-GL for the quality of our services. Key to this is continuous improvement of the business processes. Our quality system is subjected to regular internal and external audits and improved as necessary.


In order to perform our studies and do our research, we make use of confidential (personal) data. We make sure we keep your information safe. To ensure information security, we have implemented an “Information Security Management System” (ISMS) that is certified according to the ISO 27001 standard. We have also appointed a Privacy Officer who supervises the processing of personal data and supports employees with GDPR issues.

SEO considers Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) important. SEO has signed a CSR self-declaration. This states that SEO applies the ISO 26000 standard and has examined and assessed this using the process described in the self-declaration manual (NPR 9026).

The following CSR corethemes are central to SEO’s CSR policy:

  1. Governance of the organisation
  2. Human rights
  3. Labour practice
  4. The environment
  5. Fair business practices
  6. Community involvement and development

Below are the links to the CSR self-declaration and the substantiating report. These can also be found on NEN’s CSR self-declaration ISO 26000 publication platform.

All links and documents are in Dutch.

Social Return at SEO
An important part of the CSR policy is Social Return. An increasing number of assignments that SEO carries out for the Dutch government is subject to an obligation to participate in Social Return. Participating in Social Return means that our services try to create social impact by supporting people with a distance to the labour market. This can be done in many ways, for example, by purchasing products or services from suppliers who explicitly offer opportunities to people with a distance to the labour market, or within SEO itself by offering employment opportunities to people with a distance to the labour market. This may involve internships, work experience placements or regular employment.

At SEO we are pleased to take our social responsibility to constructively implement Social Return. Within the possibilities offered by work processes and budgets, we seek opportunities to give people with a distance to the labour market a place in our organisation and projects. Just like all other SEO employees, we demand concrete results from the work, whilst they receive the support they need, and specific wishes and limitations are taken into account. By doing so, we hope to be able to bridge the distance to the labour market at least partially and contribute to a more inclusive labour market.

A successful example of Social Return at SEO is the work experience position offered in 2020 to a candidate with a distance to the labour market as part of an extensive evaluation study of the Work and Security Act (Wwz) commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs & Employment. For this work experience placement, SEO was rewarded by the Ministry with a certificate for ‘Meaningfully Implementing the Social Return Obligation’.

Central to the mission of SEO Amsterdam Economics is the conducting of independent applied research on behalf of the public sector and business community. The independence of SEO’s research means that it is carried out:

  • without prejudice, political nuance or personal interest;
  • as agreed with the client, but without being decisive for or contributory to the research results;
  • without the results of the research being dependent on any financial interest.

The results of the research follow from an expert application of generally accepted scientific principles and theories. Conclusions are based on an objective interpretation of the facts and a (statistically) sound analysis of the research material. Clients have to be able to trust that the integrity of the researchers involved in the research cannot be called into question. SEO has drawn up a code of conduct to give a further elaboration of the above-mentioned principles.


Science at SEO Amsterdam Economics

SEO aims to be a niche player in the market for contract research, which distinguishes itself by the high quality of its research. This niche position can only be maintained and strengthened by monitoring and improving the scientific quality of the research and of the staff.

Two tracks

There are two tracks to boosting quality and guaranteeing the scientific nature of our work:

  • commissioned reports and
  • publications by SEO staff in scientific journals.


In SEO reports insights from scientific economic literature are translated into and used in practical solutions for issues in government and business. SEO applies economic science to practical questions that the government and business want answered. The answers to these questions, the conclusions from our research, help clients when making important decisions.

Scientific publications

In order to continually improve the scientific quality of SEO publications SEO undertakes scientific activities at a high level. Firstly, these involve the writing of scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, and secondly, our scientific research is presented at scientific conferences.

SEO spends a substantial budget to the scientific activities of SEO staff. This way, SEO aims to achieve a good synergy between contract research and its own scientific research, with the aim of guaranteeing the quality and scientific character of our organisation.