Marias Halldor Gestsson

Staff portrait: Marias Halldor Gestsson

Marias Halldor Gestsson is postdoc at the Department.

How long have you been employed at the Department of Economics and Business Economics?
Almost two months now. I was a PhD student here in 2005-2010 so I am not as new as the two months suggest.

What is your background?
I grew up in Isafjordur in the north-western part of Iceland and lived there until I was 18 when I left for the big city (Reykjavik) to learn economics. After finishing my undergraduate degree, I went to work at the Central Bank of Iceland and later at the Institute of Economic Studies at the University of Iceland where I worked until I came to Aarhus in 2005. We moved back to Iceland in 2010 and I worked at the Central Bank of Iceland until 2013. Then I decided take up a position at the University of Iceland where I hold a mixed researcher/assistant professor position, which I am currently on leave from.

What are your main areas of research?
Macroeconomics and economic policy. I am currently thinking (and living) in an overlapping generations economy and my research interests are in the fields of annuity markets, savings for retirement, retirement age, pensions etc.

What research projects are you working on at the moment?
I am currently looking into reasons for the thinness of private annuity markets, i.e. why people do not use such markets to save for consumption during retirement more than is observed.

What are you involved in teaching-wise at the moment?
I am teaching Macro 1 this semester.

Are you planning to take part in any conferences or the like abroad in the near future?
Not planned at the moment.

Are you expecting any visiting researchers from abroad in the near future (or have you had any visitors from abroad recently)?

What do you do when you are not at work?
Spend time with my wife and two six-year-old boys. My boys started school last month and are learning Danish, so there is a lot going on at home. Else, my main hobby is fly fishing for salmon and trout, and I try to do as much of that during the summer when I am in Iceland. I have not explored the fly fishing possibilities in Denmark yet and would like to hear from anglers at the Department concerning that.

Supplementary question from Torben M. Andersen: Is Iceland on the other side of the crisis?
The main indicators look pretty good: 3-4% growth forecasted, 4% unemployment (still higher than the pre-crises average), inflation close to target and interest rates low (compared to Icelandic history). Though the last two are expected to rise due to the wage contracts agreed on last spring. However, the capital controls have not yet been lifted, which casts shadow over the good looking numbers. My answer to the question is therefore no. Further, this, i.e. the crisis and the capital controls, are bound to have some negative effects on the long run growth possibilities.

Please give us your suggestion for the next department staff member to be presented:
Allan Sørensen

What specific supplementary question would you like him or her to answer?
How is the beer status at the Tuborg Center?

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