Work address

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, 9037 Tromsø, Norway. Phone + 47 4133 2054


PhD (Dr Philos), thesis: Some methodological issues in economic evaluation in health care, University of Tromsø (1994). MSc in Economic geography (1981), MA in Economics and business administration (1979),  Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).

Current positions

-Professor of health economics and health services research (since 1999), and Research Chair in the Department of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø (UiT), Norway

-Adjunct Professor (since 2010), Centre for Health Economics, Monash University, Australia

-Part time researcher (since 2011), Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo

Previous positions

  • 1980-81   Research associate, Department of Social Sciences, UiT

  • 1982-85   Research associate, Department of Economics, UiT

  • 1986-98   Associate professor, Department of Economics, UiT

  • 1992-96   Adjunct Professor, Aberdeen University, Scotland

  • 2004-06   Adjunct Professor, Bocconi University, Italy

  • 2006-11   Adjunct Professor, University of Oslo, Norway


Research Fields

Measuring and valuing health outcomes; Efficiency vs equality trade-offs in health and healthcare; The relationship between health related quality of life (HRQoL) and subjective well-being (SWB); Tracing causes of inequalities in health and well-being; Primary care financing; Global health



Olsen JA: Principles in Health Economics and Policy (2nd edition), Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2017

Olsen JA: Helseøkonomi: Effektivitet og rettferdighet, Cappelen Akademisk Forlag, Oslo, 2006

Dolan P, Olsen JA: Distributing health care: Economic and ethical issues, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2002


Publication profile

Of the 70 peer reviewed journal articles, two-thirds appear in level 2 journals (similar to A and A*) in the Norwegian Scientific Index (CRIStin).  In most of this published work I have played a leading role, as signaled by being sole author (11), first author (13), or last author (32).  My H-index: 27.


Teaching experience

Graduate courses at universities in Australia, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Tanzania, South Africa, UK.


Miscellaneous activities past five years

Four PhD candidates completed, currently main supervisor of four PhD students.

International collaborations: Monash University, Melbourne; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; University of Sheffield; University of Southern Denmark

Editorial board member: Journal of Health Services Research and Policy

                                             Nordic Journal of Health Economics

Regular referee for various scientific journals, research boards, PhD committes

Chair of the board for the Norwegian Health Services Research Network

Member of Government appointed commssion on healthcare priority setting (NOU 2014:12)

Advicer to The Norwegian Medicines Agency