Dr. Christian Toft
Dr. Christian Toft
Msc Social Science
PhD Economics and Politics

University of Kassel
FB07 Department of Economics
Nora Platiel Straße 4
D-34109 Kassel

Telephone: ---
E-Mail: message@christian-toft.de

Résumé & Publications

Gallery: Down Memory Lane

In this gallery, I travel down Memory Lane and revisit some of the places I have been in my international career. I travel in reverse order, beginning with China and ending in Cambridge, UK, where it all began. It is presented in blocks, beginning with China, Finland & Estonia, North America, Italy, and finally United Kingdom. My native Denmark might be worth a visit but is not part of this story. Germany (Kassel, Köln, Mannheim) is also excluded. Sorry.

China (Beijing Normal University, Beijing)
China (Fundan University, Shanghai)

UNU-WIDER (Helsinki, Finland)
Estonia (Tallinn University)

United States (University of Notre Dame, Indiana)
United States (George Washington University, Washington DC)
Canada (University of Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia)

Italy (European University Institute, Florence)

United Kingdom (Loughborough and Birmingham Universities)
United Kingdom (Bangor University, Wales)
United Kingdom (University of Hull)
United Kingdom (University of Cambridge)

China (Beijing Normal University, Beijing)

During spring 2013 I visited Beijing Normal University (北京师范大学) at the invitation of Professor Li Shi, the director of “Center for Income Inequality and Poverty Studies” and China’s most renowned scholar in this area of research. It was preceded by a brief conference visit in Beijing January 2012 at the invitation of the “Chinese Academy of Social Sciences”. At BNU I taught a master course on international patterns of distribution and redistribution in OECD countries, getting to know some very interesting and dedicated young people.



My first Beijing visit, January 2012

The Great Wall is indeed great


Beijing 4

Invited lecture at one of Beijing's many universities, May 2013
Excitement looks different

Beijing 5

Beijing 6

BNU Class: The Boss is seated
BNU Class: Reasons for and solutions to inequality

Beijing 7

Beijing 8

BNU Class: A penny for your thoughts
BNU Class: This is concentration

Beijing 9

Beijing 10

BNU Class: Farewell Party
BNU Class: Farewell Party


China (Fundan University, Shanghai)

Summer 2013 I was a Visiting Fellow at Fudan University (复旦大学), School of Economics, Shanghai, China, where I taught a seminar on microsimulation and pension analysis for a group of visiting students and gave invited lectures on pension reforms and labour supply in Europe and the United States. 


Fudan 2
Beautiful Shanghai

Beautiful Shanghai

Fudan 3

Fudan 4

Shanghai is hot hot actually very hot

Love is in the air

Fudan 5

Fudan 6

My host Dean Zhigang Yuan
Fudan Economics secretary and TA

Fudan 7

Fudan 8

Invited lecture at SUFE
Studying the Chinese way


UNU-WIDER (Helsinki, Finland)

During December 2006 – March 2007 I spent four very inspiring months conducting research on income distribution and redistribution at UNU-WIDER in Helsinki at the invitation of Anthony Shorrocks. UNU-WIDER stands for “United Nations University – World Institute for Development Economics Research” and is a leading international research institute specializing in analyses of global trends in the distribution of living conditions (income, wealth, poverty) and the conditions for sustainable and equitable growth.


Ice on the water

Yes, Helsinki is cold in December

Wider 3

Wider 4

The boat to nowhere and Tallinn

The boat to nowhere

Wider 5

Wider 6

Tony goes his round

Sherry keeps an eye on comings and goings

Wider 7

Wider 8

Adam makes sure the next book is on schedule

My picture of Wan did not work out

Wider 9

Wider 10

Fan is having fun

Fan is having fun


Estonia (Tallinn University)

Parallel to my visit in Helsinki and one month following on, I taught a masters course on the welfare state at the University of Tallinn. Tallinn is beautiful and always worth a visit.

Tallinn 1

Tallinn 2

Pittoresque et magnifique
Picturesque and beautiful

Tallinn 3

Tallinn 4

Ani in the Tallinn surroundings
Kadri at work


United States (University of Notre Dame, Indiana)

In 2003, I had the good fortune to be invited to spend the spring semester as a Visiting Professor at Notre Dame University in the United States. Notre Dame is indeed awesome – I do not believe there is anything like that anywhere else.


Notre 2
Teaching under the cross

A bird's eye view of the campus


United States (George Washington University, Washington DC)

After Notre Dame, I visited George Washington University School of Public Policy, which is located right in the Foggy Bottom district at the heart of Washington DC. I established friendships and collaborations, which continue to thrive. You may not believe it, but I took the bus from Chicago to Washington (with a stop in Pittsburgh) and the train back to Chicago to fly home. Since then I have been in Washington almost every year, and on occasions several times per year, keeping the collaborations going and giving invited lectures.



Hal smiling
Joe pondering

Bob smiling



Olivia laughing

Canada (University of Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia)

Summer 2003, I taught a course on European welfare state reform at the University of Victoria. Vancouver Island is indeed awesome but in a different way to Notre Dame. In fact, it could hardly be any more different.

Victoria 1
A bird's eye view of the university campus

Victoria 3
The class - exam is over

Victoria 2
Invited lecture

Victoria 4

Victoria 5
Studying makes you happy - at least when you
live on Vancouver Island and it is summer


Italy (European University Institute, Florence)

In 1999, I spent eight months at the European University Institute in Florence. For a typical north European, Italy and Florence was an overwhelming experience – I loved it and never wanted to leave. On the other hand, when I told Stefano Bartolini, a famous Italian professor, that I was angry with my mother because I was not born an Italian, he looked at me and said: “Christian, you do not really know what it means to live in Italy”. I guess he was probably right.


United Kingdom (Loughborough and Birmingham Universities)

After leaving Wales and until my departure for Italy and Florence, I lived in Loughborough and was employed first by Loughborough and next by Birmingham University (School of Public Policy). Loughborough is a small town between Nottingham and Leicester and about 1,5 hours from London by train. Even though it is a small university, Loughborough University actually has a high standing in many subjects, including social sciences and European studies. Sport and athletics is also a strength. My stay at Birmingham University School of Public Policy was related to a competitive research grant, that I had been awarded from the UK funding authority.

Loughborough 1

Loughborough 2

Arriving in Loughborough and traveling to Birmingham
University campus


United Kingdom (Bangor University, Wales)

Bangor is the oldest city in Wales and one of the smallest cities in the United Kingdom. I spent two very rewarding years there between 1992 and 1994, establishing friendships that are still alive. Probably one of the most fameous faculty Bangor has ever had is Duncan Black, who, together with Kenneth Arrow, was a founding father of social choice theory. Mancur Olson was an occasional guest of the economics group.

Bangor 1

Bangor 2

Menai Strait and Bangor
Bangor University at night


United Kingdom (University of Hull)

I had my first job at a university lecturer in economics at Hull University 1990-1992. 


United Kingdom (University of Cambridge)

During the second half of the 1980s, I did my doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge, dividing my time between the Faculty of Economics and Darwin College. I probably do not need to say that spending time at one of the world’s leading universities and faculties was a highly inspirational experience that I am grateful to have been allowed to have. Believe it or not, after a while the fameous historical college buildings making up much of the town center just become the backdrop for daily life. The ever-present history and tradition of Cambridge continues to inspire you, but in a more quiet way.

Cam 1

Cam 2

Darwin College
My Gang - the elite of Cambridge

Cam 3

Cam 4

Edward Chu getting married
Cambridge streets

Cam 5
Graduation ceremony

Cam 6

Yes, Geschafft