Van Ark is an expert in international comparative studies of economic performance, productivity, and innovation. As a consulting director of international economic research for The Conference Board for 10 years he was responsible for its annual flagship publication on productivity and instrumental in helping to expand its comparative analytical capabilities to include productivity and labor- and consumer-market research across countries and regions.
Van Ark continues to steward the longstanding research collaboration of The Conference Board with the University of Groningen in the Netherlands; a professor there since 2000, he holds the university’s chair in Economic Development, Technological Change and Growth.
Van Ark obtained his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Groningen. From 1988 to 1990 he worked as a research associate with the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (UK) on international comparisons of economic performance in Europe. He has participated in international research projects such as the Productivity Research Program of the McKinsey Global Institute.
Van Ark has been extensively published in national and international journals, including the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Economic Policy, the Review of Income and Wealth, and The Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. He is a member of the editorial boards of several academic journals and serves on various advisory committees in the areas of productivity and national accounts.