Welfare and development: Concepts and indicators

CCRD04 Elective 4 ECTS
Period 2 weeks 15.03.2021 - 26.03.2021
Instructor Dr. Gylfi Ólafsson


The course critically engages a range of commonly available socioeconomic indicators while alternative indices, such as the Nordic Welfare Indicators, will be presented and discussed too. Students will learn about key concepts in welfare economics and the meanings of everyday categorisations such as a "good place to live", "healthy economy" and "vibrant community".


On completion of the course, a student:

  • has demonstrated a systematic understanding of commonly available socioeconomic indicators.
  • has the ability to critically refer to some everyday categorisations in the field of community development.
  • can define and critically reflect on everyday categorisations like "a good place to live", "healthy economy" or "vibrant community"
  • can participate in and lead group discussions about indicators and community development.
  • can explain key concepts of welfare economics.


Gylfi Ólafsson was appointed the CEO of Westfjords Healthcare Institute (Heilbrigðisstofnun Vestfjarða) in 2018. The organization encompasses the hospitals and primary care facilities in Ísafjörður and Patreksfjörður, as well as nursing homes and other healthcare in the region. Gylfi has a PhD from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm with research in low back pain and holds a master’s degree in economics from Stockholm university and B.Ed. degree from Akureyri university. He has among other things served as assistant to the minister of finance and economic affairs, taught health economics as University of Iceland, been a researcher and consultant in health economics, and run a failed start-up in insect rearing.