The Danish Welfare model - for exhange students

Course content

The Danish Welfare model is one of the most extensive and generous public models in the welfare states of the western world.

The Danish public sector is larger than any other country (more than 50% of GDP) and over 2 million Danes (out of a population of 5,7 million Danes) receive transfer payment from the state. With the “no contribution-principle” in education, health care and service for handicapped and elderly people, the Danish tax financed welfare thinking is carried much further than any other modern welfare state.

That is why there are good reasons to study Danish Welfare, as the best, famous and known in the world.

The welfare thinking in the country point out, that there has been no acceptance of the full consequences of the market forces, on economic distribution etc.

The welfare model has brought Denmark into the club of the ten richest countries in the OECD, with relative low unemployment rate, a substantial mobility on the labor market, over to the flexicurity model and a remarkable equally distribution of income, wealth and risks.

And the model is facing challenges – the economic growth has been slow, global competition and demography has set the model under pressure. The sustainability of the economy has been upturned by courageous welfare reforms in pension and labor policy.

There for the course will contain:

  • The theory, the system and the performing of the Danish Model

  • The origin and history and the legacy

  • The five financial sources

  • The organization of the welfare state

  • The flexicurity model of the labor market

  • Equality unequal’s, differences and disintegration

  • Education and health care

  • Pension and retirement

  • Democracy and the civil society

  • Business and the welfare

  • EU, Globalization and the Danish Welfare System

  • Will the Danish model survive the future challenges


Non-Degree Course

For all students at Copenhagen University and exchange students NOT  enrolled in the full degree Bachelor and Master programmes at the Department of Economics

Learning outcome

After completing the course, the student should be able to:


  • Obtain thorough knowledge of social welfare theory related to the Danish Model

  • Understand and identify the structure of the structure of the Danish welfare system today

  • Define the consequence of the welfare history at today’s structure and policy and understand the different outcome of the institutional solutions of the back ground of the different historical decisions

  • Understand elementary economics and statistical sizes in ex basic demography, and actuarial elementary technique – understand the model of the fice financial sources and their impact on different goals in society

  • Account for different models of labor supply and the influence on retirement from the labor market


  • Analyze differences and inequalities. Understand and analyze the content of poverty disintegration, economic division between rich and poor – between generations.

  • Understand and analyze welfare policy and its many alternative solutions In the market, in the public welfare end in the civil society

  • Analyze and understand the line between business and welfare.


  • Administrate economic and political functions, on a fair level in both the public and private sector.


Students in this course can be employed in international as well as national – regional or in municipalities – as well as in private companies, banks, insurance and in pension funds, and voluntary institutions, and social, humanitarian associations and NGO’s who are working with social welfare, social conditions or pensions.

During the course we will - if possible - invite opinion leaders from different political parties in the Danish parliament for a discussion on the future and reforms of the welfare state.

  • Social welfare The Danish model – Bjarne Hastrup, Copenhagen 2011. 451 p. Web-edition can be found at: (BH 11)

  • The Social contract between the generations – Bjarne Hastrup, Copenhagen 2008,318 p. (BH 08)

  • The Danish Economic council – The English summary – spring 2016 – can be found at: (DORS 16)

There may be incongruence or insufficient cover between the hand-outs and curriculum. Then the curriculum is valid and will always be the valid curriculum at the exam.

This is a course for students with an interest in the Danish welfare system and with little or no training in economic theory. It is very relevant for international students as well as Danish students from non-economics fields’ e.g. political science, sociology, business, and humanities. (This course is NOT available for students enrolled in the bachelor or master programme at the Department of Economics)

2x2 hours lectures a week from week 36 to 47 (except week 42).

The overall schema for the BA can be seen at https:/​/​​polit_ba/​undervisning/​Lektionsplan-E18/​skemaer/​Sider/​default.aspx
or the Master at https:/​/​​economics_ma/​courses/​CourseCatalogue-E18/​Courseschema/​Pages/​default.aspx

Timetable and venue:
To see the time and location of lectures and exercise classes please press the link under "Se skema" (See schedule) at the right side of this page. E means Autumn.

You can find the similar information partly in English at
-Select Department: “2200-Økonomisk Institut” (and wait for respond)
-Select Module:: “2200-E18; [Name of course]””
-Select Report Type: “List – Weekdays”
-Select Period: “Efterår/Autumn – Weeks 31-5”
Press: “ View Timetable

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 5 days
The exam is take-home exam. The exam assignment is in English and must be answered in English.

The answer must maximum fill ten pages (10) and maximum one page annex.
It is mandatory to fill out the front pages. Remember to fill out the answer with exam number.

The exam should be filled out individually and cannot be answered in groups - and all questions should be answered. Please mark clearly in the text, what you submit as main text and what you submit as annex.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the course.

To receive the top grade, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Exam
  • 40
  • Preparation
  • 124
  • English
  • 206