Department of Economic History

Lund University School of Economics and Management


Economic History first saw the light of the day in Lund 1945. This was when there was established a docent-ship in the subject of Economic History attached to the department of History at Lund University. Four years later the subject became self-dependent by the arise of a “preceptor-ship” (something between a docent-ship and a professor-ship), which was held by Oscar Bjurling. In 1959 the department moved to a villa at Finngatan and the “preceptor-ship” was made into a professor-ship. Now the long and (so far) uninterrupted growth with emphasis on macroeconomical problems started, often connecting to statistics and/or economic theory. In 1973 Bjurling was succeeded by Lennart Jörberg and three years later Gunnar Fridlizius got a personal professor-ship. During 30 years at the cosy house at Finngatan the three big research-groups which still today dominates the subject developed. These are the economics of: 1) structure, 2) population and 3) development and in addition to these a number of other specialities as the economics of education, the labour market and the history of economic doctrines. Finally the house became too crowded and in 1988 the department moved to “Holger Crafoords Ekonomicentrum” which now is the School of Economics and Management.


At the time of the move a change of generations also was initiated and a new phase of expansion for both research and education began. At the retirement of Fridlizius in 1988 there was established a professorship of modern and social economic history which was held by Rolf Ohlsson until his removal by death in 2004. Jörberg was succeeded in 1992 by Lennart Schön (now emeritus) and in 1996 another professorship was created directed towards the third world which is held by Christer Gunnarsson. After that three more professors came into being: Carl-Axel Olsson (deceased), Tommy Bengtsson and Christer Lundh (moved to Gothenburg). During the last ten years nine more professors have been appointed: Göran Ahlström (emeritus), Benny Carlson, Anders Nilsson, Jonas Ljungberg, Astrid Kander, Martin Dribe, Lars Svensson (emeritus), Mats Olsson and Maria Stanfors.


Today the department has nine active professors, six associate professors, 12 assistant professors and post docs and 30 PhD students, not forgetting guest researchers and several contacts in Sweden and all over the world. Throughout the years approximately 100 dissertations have been presented; at least six thesis defenses are planned for this year (2014). The courses offered are in constant development; the number of students has grown strong in numbers and has recently seen an expansion from four Masters programmes with remarkable international character.


As the annual rings increases, Economic History at Lund University has ramified itself and is perpetually pushing out new fresh shoots.

Finngatan 16 Lund

Drawing by Jonas Ljungberg
Professor in Economic History