The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

About the Department of Economic History

The Department of Economic History in Lund was founded in 1949. The last decade it has grown tremendously; as an independent department in the discipline, Lund is the biggest in the world. The success story is based on relevance in research and teaching, and an including, dynamic and international research and learning environment.

The department employs roughly 100 people, distributed between teachers, postdocs, researchers, technical/administrative staff, and PhD candidates. The programme for doctoral studies involves about 30 students, and normally 5–10 of them graduate each year. The department’s total budget for the 2021 fiscal year amounts to about SEK 75 million, of which 80 percent is spent on research and the doctoral programme. In addition, research at the department is financed by stipends with about SEK 5 million annually. The department sets itself apart through its relatively high share of faculty financed through research projects. The main funders are Vetenskapsrådet, Riksbankens jubileumsfond, Vinnova, Forte, Wallenbergstiftelserna, and Handelsbankens forskningsstiftelser.

Research strategy

The overarching research strategy of the department is to be open and inclusive, and it is anchored in three key concepts: relevance, internationalisation, and building research infrastructure. The department has sought to let a thousand flowers bloom and the result is a very productive, creative, and diverse research environment. 


The teaching has a strong research connection and is correspondingly built on relevance and internationalisation. The department’s strong research connection leads to an invaluable link being forged between state-of-the-art research and teaching at all levels. The fact that active researchers participate in both course design and teaching guarantee a high quality and course content which reflects the research frontier; the department offers a rich range of programs and courses in constant development.

Study Economic History

Education programmes

Since the autumn term 2019, the department offers its own Bachelor’s programme, Economy and Society, which directly established itself among the top searched international programs in Sweden, all disciplines. Here we also find Lund University’s interdisciplinary programme BIDS, Bachelor’s in Development Studies, which the department is heavily involved in. Last but not least, the department has programme responsibility for three international Master’s programmes and examine every spring a hundred Master’s students.

History of the department

In 1945, a docentship in economic history was attached to the Department of History at Lund University. Four years later the discipline of Economic history became independent through the creation of a “preceptorship” (something between a docentship and a professorship), held by Oscar Bjurling. In 1959, the Department moved to a villa at Finngatan and the “preceptorship” was converted into a professorship. Now the long and (so far) uninterrupted growth of the discipline began. In 1973, Bjurling was succeeded by Lennart Jörberg and three years later Gunnar Fridlizius got a personal professorship. During 30 years, in the cosy house at Finngatan, three big research groups germinated, which still today are present at the Department. These are the economics of 1) structure, 2) population and 3) development. Eventually, the villa became too crowded and in 1988 the Department moved to “Holger Crafoords Ekonomicentrum” which is now the School of Economics and Management.

At the time of the move, a generational change was initiated and a second phase of expansion for research and education began. At the retirement of Gunnar Fridlizius in 1988, a professorship of modern and social economic history was established and held by Rolf Ohlsson until his death in 2004. In 1992, Lennart Jörberg was succeeded by Lennart Schön (deceased in 2016) and in 1996 another professorship was created, directed towards the third world and held by Christer Gunnarsson (now emeritus). After that, several professors have been appointed, either by promotion or transfers within the university: Carl-Axel Olsson (deceased), Tommy Bengtsson (emeritus), Christer Lundh (moved to Gothenburg), Göran Ahlström (emeritus), Benny Carlson (emeritus), Anders Nilsson (emeritus), Jonas Ljungberg (emeritus), Astrid Kander, Martin Dribe, Lars Svensson (emeritus), Mats Olsson, Maria Stanfors, Kirk Scott, Cristina Chaminade, Kerstin Enflo, Ellen Hillbom, Olof Ejermo and Sylvia Schwaag Serger. In 2005, the Department had ten active professors, all of whom were men. In 2021, the number of professors is the same, but now six are women and four are men.

Both teaching and research entered a third expansion phase on the eve of the 2010s, which meant, inter alia, more extensive collaboration with other disciplines. Successful research resulted in two interdisciplinary so-called Linnaeus grants, one to the Centre for Economic Demography and one to CIRCLE for innovation and entrepreneurship research. Around the same time, the Department launched three international Master programmes and thus established itself strongly in teaching at the advanced level.

The Department’s fourth expansion phase began in the mid-2010s and has meant a broadening both in terms of personnel and subject matter. The number of employees doubled to about 100 due to an influx of large and, above all, numerous research grants. If, previously, a handful of professors received grants and ran projects, there was now an explosion in breadth and strength. It is not unusual for about thirty unique researchers to be granted external research funding of more than one million kronor each during a three-year period. At the same time, large and important projects, often linked to the creation or development of historical individual databases, have continued to receive funding and have been able to flourish. The Department now defines itself in six overall research fields, while the boundaries between them are constantly being crossed in exciting new collaborations.

The PhD programme in Economic history in Lund is important, about 30 active doctoral students are now enrolled and over the years, about 150 doctoral dissertations have been successfully defended. In 2020, an evaluation of the doctoral programme was carried out, which showed high quality of education, great success rate, and good career paths after exam, both within and outside the academy.

In parallel, in the fourth expansion phase, new initiatives were taken to develop the Department’s teaching. At the basic level, there had so far only been independent courses, but in 2019 the Department launched its own international Bachelor programme called Economy and Society. The programme went straight into the top ten list of most sought-after international programmes among all disciplines in Sweden.

Department of Economic History

Visiting Address:
Scheelevägen 15B, Alfa 1, Lund

Postal Address:
Box 7080, 220 07 Lund

Internal mail: 
hs 10

Phone: +46 46 222 74 75

Department of Economic History in Lund University research portal

Reception desk

Tina Wueggertz
expeditionen [at] ekh [dot] lu [dot] se (expeditionen[at]ekh[dot]lu[dot]se)
Phone: +46 46 222 74 75
Room: Alfa1:2100

The reception is open Monday to Friday but all meetings need to be prebooked by e-mail.