David Dreyer Lassen, Professor, Ph.D., cand.polit.
Department of Economics
University of Copenhagen
Øster Farimagsgade 5, bldg. 26

DK-1353 Copenhagen K

Phone: +45 3532 4412

Click here for e-mail

Brief CV       

Research Interests
Political economics, public economics, fiscal policy, political behavior and attitudes. Google scholar profile.


Jacob Gerner Hariri and David Dreyer Lassen. Forthcoming. "Income and outcomes: Social desirability bias distorts measurements of the relationship between income and political behavior." Public Opinion Quarterly.

James E. Alt, David Dreyer Lassen and John Marshall. Forthcoming "Credible sources and sophisticated voters: When does new information induce economic voting?" Journal of Politics. Paper here. Replication materials here.

Claus Thustrup Kreiner, David Dreyer Lassen and Søren Leth-Petersen. 2015. Measuring the Accuracy of Survey Responses using Administrative Register Data: Evidence from Denmark; In Improving the Measurement of Household Consumption Expenditures, eds. Christopher Carroll, Thomas Crossley, John Sabelhaus,  (NBER Book Series Studies in Income and Wealth)

James E. Alt, David Dreyer Lassen and Joachim Wehner. 2014. "It Isn’t Just About Greece: Domestic Politics, Transparency, and Fiscal Gimmickry in Europe." British Journal of Political Science. Earlier version: July 2012. Link to SSRN here.

Asger Lau Andersen, David Dreyer Lassen and Lasse Holbøll Westh Nielsen. 2014. "The Impact of Late Budgets on State Government Borrowing Costs." [with Asger Lau Andersen and Lasse Holbøll Westh Nielsen]. EPRU Working Paper 2010-11. Journal of Public Economics.

James E. Alt and David Dreyer Lassen. 2014. "Enforcement and Public Corruption: Evidence from U.S. States." EPRU Working Paper 2010-08. Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

Asger Lau Andersen, David Dreyer Lassen and Lasse Holbøll Westh Nielsen. 2012. "Late Budgets." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. Earlier version available as EPRU Working Paper 2010-4.

David Dreyer Lassen and Søren Serritzlew. 2011. “Jurisdiction Size and Local Democracy: Evidence on Internal Political Efficacy from Large-scale Municipal Reform.” American Political Science Review 105, 238-58. Final gated version.

David Dreyer Lassen and Søren Serritzlew. 2011. “Size and Equal Opportunity in the Democratic Process: The Effect of the Danish Local Government Reform on Inequality in Internal Political Efficacy.” World Political Science Review 7, art. 8. Final published version.

David Dreyer Lassen and Søren Serritzlew. 2010. ‘’Kommunalreformen og lokalpolitisk effektivitetsfølelse.” Politica 42, 145-162. Selected as Best Politica paper in 2010.

David Dreyer Lassen. 2010. Fiscal Consolidations in Advanced Industrialized Democracies: Economics, Politics, and Governance. Background report 2010/04 for the Swedish Fiscal Policy Council.

James E. Alt and David Dreyer Lassen. 2008. "Political and Judicial Checks on Corruption: Evidence from American State Governments." Economics & Politics. Final (gated) version.

Vold mod offentligt ansatte, University Press Denmark. [with Peter Kruize og Dave Sorenson]. 2008.

David Dreyer Lassen. 2007. "Ethnic Divisions, Trust, and the Size of the Informal Sector." Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. Published (gated) version (at JEBO website, requires subscription)

James E. Alt, David Dreyer Lassen and Shanna Rose. 2006. "The Causes of Fiscal Transparency: Evidence from the American States." IMF Staff Papers 53(September), 30-57. Latest version here.

James E. Alt and David Dreyer Lassen. 2006. "Transparency, Political Polarization, and Political Budget Cycles in OECD Countries."* American Journal of Political Science 50(3), 530-550. (Previously titled: The Political Budget Cycle is Where You Can't See It).

James E. Alt and David Dreyer Lassen. 2006. "Fiscal Transparency, Political Parties, and Debt in OECD Countries." European Economic Review 50(6), 1403-1439. Published version (requires subscription).

David Dreyer Lassen. 2005. "The Effect of Information on Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Natural Experiment."* American Journal of Political Science 49(1).

James E. Alt and David Dreyer Lassen. 2003. "The Political Economy of Institutions and Corruption in American States." Journal of Theoretical Politics 15(3). EPRU Working paper version available through SSRN. Published version (requires subscription).

David Dreyer Lassen and Peter Birch Sørensen. 2002. Financing the Nordic Welfare States: The Challenge of Globalisation to Taxation in the Nordic Countries. Prepared for the Nordic Council of Ministers. [Part of the larger report Det framtida nordiska välfärdssamhället - utmaninger och möjligheter, Nord 2003:12, available here]

James E. Alt, David Dreyer Lassen and David Skilling. 2002. "Fiscal Transparency, Gubernatorial Popularity, and the Scale of Government: Evidence from the States." State Politics & Policy Quarterly vol. 2. Working Paper version [PDF, 135 Kb].

Niels Kleis Frederiksen, David Dreyer Lassen and Søren Bo Nielsen. 1999. "Would the Flat Tax Fall Flat in Denmark?" in T.M. Andersen, S.E.H. Jensen and O. Risager (eds.), Macroeconomic Perspectives on Danish Economic Policy, London: Macmillan Press, 1999. 

David Dreyer Lassen and Søren Bo Nielsen. 1996. "Er skattebyrden i Danmark højere end i andre europæiske lande?" Nationaløkonomisk Tidsskrift, 1996 ("Is the tax burden in Denmark higher than in other European countries?", Danish Economic Journal, 1996)


  Some recent and upcoming talks

CEBR, Warwick (December, 2014)

EPRN, Copenhagen, June

EPSA, Vienna, June

APSA, San Francisco, September

Big data for improving Welfare and Growth, University of Copenhagen, September

Recent selected media appearances and popular writing

Every Thursday in Børsen.


Recent and Current major grants

Hard Times: Voters and the Economy in Times of Economic Hardship. Project sponsored by a DFF Sapere Aude Research Leader grant, 2011-15. PI.

HHPOLITICS. ERC Starting Grant, 2013-17. PI.

Social Fabric / Sensible DTU. UCPH 2016 Excellence Grant, 2013-17. PI.



Current Projects and Work-in-progress (email me for drafts not posted)

Consumption Responses to Fiscal Stimulus Policy and the Household Price of Liquidity. [with Søren Leth-Petersen and Claus Thustrup Kreiner]. CEPR Discussion Paper 9161, September 2012. R&R, AEJ: Economic Policy.

Petro Rents, Political Institutions, and Hidden Wealth: Evidence from Bank Deposits in Tax Havens [with Andersen, Johannesen and Paltseva]. R&R.

Political-Economic Cycles. In preparation for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia.

Fiscal gimmickry in OECD countries [with Jim Alt and Joachim Wehner].

Government Architecture and Political Selection [with Barfort, Harmon and Serritzlew], for presentation at EPSA 2015, APSA 2015.

A Liquidity Theory of Social Policy Preferences [with Amalie Sofie Jensen and Jacob Hariri]. Early versions presented at EPSA 2014, APSA 2014, Harvard. In progress.

Free to Choose or Free to Lose? Public Opinion over Government Paternalism. Early version presented at APSA 2014. In progress

Individual and Aggregate Unemployment Expectations, Information, and Economic Voting: Experimental and Administrative Micro-Evidence [with Jim Alt]. Version presented at APSA 2013 here. Submitted.

Divided We Stand, Divided We Fall. Political Deadlock and Electoral Accountability [with Asger Lau Andersen and Lasse Holbøll Westh Nielsen]. Draft. Early, incomplete version here. New version coming soon.

Informal Institutions and Intergenerational Contracts: Evidence from Schooling and Remittances in Rural Tanzania [with Helene Bie Lilleør]. CAM Working Paper 2008-03. Under revision, new version coming soon

Strong Firms Lobby, Weak Firms Bribe [with Bennedsen and Feldmann]. This version: August 2013. Dormant.

True Profit Shifting [with Federico Clementi, Søren Bo Nielsen and Pascalis Raimondos], in progress, 2015.



Fall 2015: Social Data Science, w. Sebastian Barfort

Past teaching
Political Economics, Master's course @ Econ department
International Political Economy from a Corporate Perspective, ILECMA @ Faculty of Law

Parts of Public Finance, 3rd year.
Seminars on political economics, advanced public economics, conflict economics, economics of the media
Public Expenditures / Offentlig Udgiftspolitik
Micro 3

Omkring Specialevejledning

Other writings

Currently, I write every Thursday in Børsen, the premier Danish business newspaper. These columns are available at the gated Børsen website.

Less recent attempts to participate in the public debate include:
”Brems det offentlige forbrug.” Kronik i Berlingske Tidende 26.9.2010.
”Tør vi lade falde hvad ej kan stå” Debatindlæg i Politiken om banker i krise, 4.9.09.
"Fejlslutninger." Debatindlæg i Weekendavisen 19.6.2009.
"Forbandelse." Debatindlæg i Weekendavisen nr. 24, d. 13.6.08.
"Stud.gæld." Mening i Jyllands-Posten d. 11.8.06.
"Økonomernes Indiana Jones" Anmeldelse af Levitt & Dubner's Freakonomics, Weekendavisen Ideer d. 9.9.05. (m. Henrik J. Kleven).
"Skrækhistorier" Artikel i Weekendavisen Ideer d. 9.9.05. (m. Henrik J. Kleven).
"Velfærd på amerikansk?" Artikel i Weekendavisen Ideer d. 18.02.05. (m. Claus Thustrup Kreiner og Henrik J. Kleven) og vores efterfølgende svar "Misforstået solidaritet?"
"Økonomiske læseheste?" Institutstafet i Politen, Maj 2004.
"Antiantipaternalisme" (pdf, 17kb). Debatindlæg bragt i Weekendavisen Bøger d. 23.04.04 (lidt vel redigeret) under titlen "På med selen."
"Bliver man rig af at læse Weekendavisen?" Debatindlæg som burde være bragt i Weekendavisen, februar 2004.

"Er gæld godt?"
(pdf, 73kb). Debatindlæg bragt i Weekendavisen d. 20.12.02 under titlen "Offentlig gæld uholdbar."
"Pressefrihed eller Pressionsfrihed?" 22.05.02. Vil regeringens nye medieoplæg give politisk kontrol med DR? (pdf, 35kb). (December 2002: Det har det gjort!)
"Medicin til verdens fattige" (pdf, 8kb). Debatindlæg bragt i Politiken d. 18.03.01 under den svært misvisende titel Frigiv Patenterne.

Good and Bad Government
The Allegory of Good and Bad Government (1338-40), by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Siena.

Updated 2015.
* This is an electronic version of an article published in the American Journal of Political Science. Complete citation information for the final version of the paper, as published in the print edition of the American Journal of Political Science, is available on the Blackwell Synergy online delivery service, accessible via the journal’s website at www.blackwellpublishing.com/journals/ajps or http://www.blackwell-synergy.com.