Lund University was founded in 1666 as a centre for Swedish education in the provinces then recently acquired from Denmark. The teaching of business-related subjects traces back to 1750, when the University got its first chair in economics. However, at that time, the professors usually had much broader academic fields to cover and they were often affiliated with other faculties within the university. For example, in the early days following his appointment at the university, the most well-known professor of Economics from Lund, Knut Wicksell, was professor of Economics and Fiscal Law at the Faculty of Law. Other professors combined Economics with subjects such as Botany, Mathematics or Mechanics.
Over the years to come, the departments that today constitute the School of Economics and Management were established. The Department of Economics was established in 1901 as a part of the Faculty of Law, the Department of Statistics was started in 1926 within the Faculty of Natural Science, while the Department of Economic History emerged as a separate department within the Faculty of Humanities around 1950. The Department of Business Administration was established in 1958 and the Department of Informatics in 1965, both within the Faculty of Social Sciences.
In 1961, the Faculty of Business and Economics was established and the first class of 100 students was enrolled for a three year long programme. Since then, some 25.000 students have been educated in Business and Economics at Lund University.
The Department of Business Law became a department of its own in 1962, the Research Policy Institute was established in 1979 and the Institute of Economic Research was founded in 1986.
Although there is a long history of informal ties and close co-operation between the different units, the formal development of a unified School began in the late 1980s, when the first part of the campus – the Holger Crafoord Centre – was built with generous donations from the Crafoord Foundation. The building is named after the founder of the foundation, the industrialist Holger Crafoord (1908-1982). The Holger Crafoord Centre was built in three stages during the period 1988-1998.
An organisational change in 2004 led to the establishment of the School of Economics and Management as a separate faculty within Lund University.
The Centre for Economic Demography was established in 2006 - the same year the Centre was awarded one of the Linnaeus grants that form part of the Swedish Research Council's new emphasis on long-term financing of cutting-edge research.
The latest development in terms of organisational structure is the establishment of the Knut Wicksell Centre of Finance, following a commitment of long-term funding by VINNOVA, the Swedish innovation agency. The Centre will be the hub of research in finance as well as interdisciplinary research in broader areas relating to financial markets. In addition, the Centre will pursue collaboration with practitioners.