Bart Verspagen is an economist specialised in the economics of innovation, growth and development. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Limburg (now called Maastricht University) in Maastricht, the Netherlands, from 1984–1988. He obtained a PhD from the same university in 1992. During the five subsequent years, he held a scholarship from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). In 1998, he became a professor at Eindhoven University of Technology. In 2008, he moved back to Maastricht University, where he became a professor of International Economics. In 2012, he became Director of UNU-MERIT.
Verspagen’s research interests are centred around the process of economic growth and development, especially its relation to innovation and technological change. His research field also covers areas such as international trade, development economics, industrial dynamics, economic history, and applied econometrics, statistics and mathematical modelling. With regard to the latter, he has mainly been applying evolutionary models to economic issues.