I am an Associate Professor in Finance at Maastricht University

"My passion is to understand what motivates people to give to charities and to invest not only for financial return but also for social return. In my free time, I enjoy playing improvisation theatre and playing the keyboard.”

My research particularly focuses on understanding how to encourage millionaires to give to charity, how the rich think about income redistribution and how money increases happiness. I am a co-founder of the Sustainable Finance Master Program at Maastricht University.

My papers have been published in the Journal of FinanceJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

For a quick introduction into Giving Behavior of Millionaires, you can watch my talk at the Rabo College Day.

My work has been covered by The New York Timesthe Atlantic, Forbes, the GuardianBBC NewsSüddeutsche Zeitungde Telegraaf, de Volkskrant, NRC Handelsblad, Q Music and Slam FM! 

I have been an advisor or invited speaker for financial insitutions and policy makers, like the OECD, the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Authority Financial Markets (AFM) and the Central Planning Bureau (CPB). 

I visited the University of California San Diego, the University of California Los Angeles and the Toulouse School of Economics.

Paul Smeets

The Altruism of the Rich and the Poor

Paul Smeets blog

Altruistic behavior is a fascinating topic. On the first hand, it’s something of an evolutionary puzzle as to why an organism would provide benefits to others at an expense to itself. By...
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Donors Likely to Give Less if They Stand to Benefit

Paul Smeets blog

Socially responsible investing allows people to earn a financial return while doing good. But the promise of receiving a personal benefit from a charitable act may actually lower the amount wealthy...
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NWO Veni grant on the motivations of sustainable investors

Paul Smeets blog

Paul Smeets has been awarded a research grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The Veni grants are for outstanding researchers who have recently earned their PhD, are...
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