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Sytske Wijnsma

PhD Candidate

MPhil (University of Cambridge)

Research topic

Sustainable Development through Policy and Resource Management


Sytske is a PhD candidate in Economics & Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School working on topics around sustainable development and public policy. In her research, she seeks to understand how actors, who are operating in markets with incomplete monitoring, can be induced to pursue sustainable and fair strategies. This includes the distribution of natural resources in rural communities, to the effect of public policy on illegal waste disposal activities by organisations. Using micro-econometrics and game-theory, Sytske is examining the strategies that drive social and environmental change through effective policy setting and resource management without causing unintended consequences.

Real world impact

As part of her research, Sytske has developed partnerships with a number of key organisations. In collaboration with Europol, the European law enforcement agency, Sytske studied the incentives behind illegal waste disposal, which often results in health and environmental violations in developed and developing countries. Sytske helped disentangle the issues faced by the agency, structure them in a game-theoretic model, and demonstrate potential consequences of policy interventions. 

Sytske has also been involved with the UNEP-WCMC, the conservation unit of the UN Environment. She has researched how the impact of unsustainable practices and benefits of economic development are often distributed disproportionally within rural communities.

Research interests

Sustainable development; policy interventions; non-compliance; environment and development economics.

Sytske Wijnsma is a member of the Economics & Policy subject group.

Publications & papers

Conference presentations

Wijnsma, S.C.M.S. (2018) “Illicit waste management: challenges and recommendations for law enforcement.” In: Europol Annual Meeting Environmental Crime, 23 November 2018, The Hague, The Netherlands.

Wijnsma, S.C.M.S. (2018) “The problem of information: moral hazard and adverse selection in illegal waste disposal.” In: INFORMS, Session: Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources, 4-7 June 2018, Phoenix (AZ), USA.

Wijnsma, S.C.M.S. (2017) “The problem of information: the incentives behind unwanted behaviour applied to waste disposal.” In: Winter Doctoral Conference University of Cambridge, Judge Business School, 4 December 2017, Cambridge, UK. Downstream sustainability: the big reset for recycling in the U.S.

In recent years, consumers have become more concerned with the environmental and social impact of their purchasing behavior. To address these concerns,…

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Contact details

Sytske Wijnsma
Cambridge Judge Business School
University of Cambridge
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1AG

[email protected]

Year of entry