Bo Sandemann Rasmussen

Staff portrait: Bo Sandemann Rasmussen

Bo is Professor at the Department and is located in building 2632(L) office 123.

How long have you been employed at the Department of Economics and Business?
Since 1986

What is your background?
Actually, I was born in Aarhus and studied at the Econ and Management programme at Aarhus University from 1979-1984. Then, after completing an MSc in Economics at London School of Economics in 1985, I enrolled as a PhD-student in 1986. To be honest I would not have decided to stay in academia if I had not experienced the outstanding research environment at LSE. I was so lucky to have Chris Pissarides (later Nobel laureate) as supervisor at LSE, and he is very much responsible for my decision to apply for admission to the PhD programme in Aarhus. The only surprising aspect of that is that I did not take up search theory as my main field of interest - but Chris was also an outstanding macro teacher and that opened my eyes for the possibilities to do interesting macro research.

What are your main areas of research?
Broadly speaking I am a macro economist. I started out specializing on open economy macroeconomic issues but moved gradually towards the area of public finance. Hence, my research interests today focus on incentive effects of taxation, i.e. labour income taxation, capital income taxation or more general redistributive public economic actions.

What research projects are you working on at the moment?
One involves optimal taxation in a life-cycle model where households have present-biased preferences that distort their decisions both regarding savings and life-cycle labour supply.
A second project involves fiscal externalities and their implications for optimal tax policies. An example is when the consumption of healthy/unhealthy food affects future productivity and hence tax revenues. Should this lead to taxes on unhealthy food/subsidies to healthy food (as the now abandoned Danish fat tax), or are there better ways to deal with the fiscal externalities (if any intervention is needed at all)?

What are you involved in teaching-wise at the moment?
This fall I am teaching Macro 1 which is an elective course at the final undergraduate year of our BSc in Economics and Management (around 60 students). In the spring I am (hopefully) going to teach the elective MSc course Public Finance.

Are you planning to take part in any conferences or the like abroad in the near future?
In January I am heading our recruitment committee for the US-job market (mostly econ and finance) and we interview job candidates in San Diego where the ASSA meeting takes place simultaneously. If I am fortunate I will be able to attend one or two sessions at the ASSA meeting. 

Are you expecting any visiting researchers from abroad in the near future (or have you had any visitors from abroad recently)?No, but the spring will be busy with a lot of job candidates passing through Aarhus, and I strongly encourage the department faculty members to show active interest in these job candidates so we can increase the likelihood of successful hirings.

Are you cooperating with researchers from other departments at AU at the moment?
No, not at the moment but maybe my research interests involving the tax treatment of healthy/unhealthy food could lead to cooperation with researchers from (public) health in the future. However, I am not a big fan of doing interdisciplinary research unless it really makes sense to both disciplines.

What do you do when you are not at work?
I have a wife, three kids and a dog - so that should keep me busy outside office hours. I do have time for the occasional round of golf (together with my two oldest boys) and I have signed up for the departmental indoor football (but have yet failed to show up even once). 

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