Thorvaldur Gylfason

Research Fellow at Cesifo, Professor of Economics at University of Iceland

Thorvaldur Gylfason is Professor of Economics at the University of Iceland. He is also Research Fellow at CESifo (Center for Economic Studies) at the University of Munich, Research Associate at the Center for U.S.-Japan Business and Economic Studies at New York University, and Fellow of the European Economic Association. He has published over 170 papers in international journals and books and over 40 scholarly articles in his native Icelandic, in addition to 20 books, including eight collections of essays in Icelandic and about 900 articles in newspapers and magazines as well as some 90 songs for mixed choir, voice, piano, and other instruments. After obtaining his doctorate in economics at Princeton University, he worked as an Economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington 1976-1981. He was Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs at Princeton 1986-1988, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for International Economic Studies at Stockholm University 1978-1996, and Research Fellow at CEPR (Centre for Economic Policy Research) in London 1987-2009. He is one of three authors of Understanding the Market Economy (Oxford University Press, 1992), which has appeared in seventeen languages, including Russian and Chinese. In recent years, he has been a frequent Consultant to the International Monetary Fund and also the World Bank, the European Commission, and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). This work has included extensive lecturing at the Joint Vienna Institute in Vienna, in all parts of Africa, in Asia, and the Middle East. In 1996-1997, he led the SNS Economic Policy Group in Sweden. Its report appeared in Swedish and English (The Swedish Model under Stress: A View from the Stands, SNS Förlag, 1997). His book Understanding Economic Growth (SNS Förlag, 1998) reappeared as Principles of Economic Growth (Oxford University Press, 1999). His television series, To Build a Nation, which deals with aspects of the history of economic ideas in Iceland, was shown on Icelandic State Television in 1998 and issued on DVD in 2011. He is one of five authors of Nordics in Global Crisis (ETLA, 2010) and one of three editors of Beyond the Curse: Policies to Harness the Power of Natural Resources (IMF, 2011). His current research is mostly in the field of economic reforms, constitutions, natural resources, trade, and growth. He was one of five Editors of the European Economic Review 2002-2010 and is Associate Editor of several other economics journals. He has contributed regularly to Icelandic newspapers since 1985, publishing a weekly column since 2003, in addition to various writings for other Icelandic and foreign papers. He was elected to Iceland's Constitutional Assembly in 2010 and appointed by Parliament to a Constitutional Council that drafted and unanimously passed a constitutional bill delivered to Parliament 29 July 2011. His song cycle of Seventeen Sonnets on the Philosophy of the Heart, arranged for two voices, piano, cello, and other instruments, was performed at Harpa, Reykjavík's new concert hall, in 2012 and 2013. His cycle of fourteen new Songs of Soaring Birds, arranged for voice, piano, and cello was premiered by world-renowned opera singer Kristinn Sigmundsson in September 2014. His Seven Psalms for mixed choir were premiered at Langholtskirkja, a local church in Reykjavík in November 2014. New songs of his will be performed at three concerts in Reykjavík scheduled for 2017.