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Economic History

Why are some countries rich and others poor? When does inequality unleash social conflicts? How do financial crises arise? Why are some companies more successful than others? A historical perspective makes such questions easier to understand.

Subject description

The focus in economic history is on production, distribution and consumption in the past, including their social and institutional preconditions. Particular areas of interest are the framework for entrepreneurship, women’s and men’s work, changed consumption patterns, the foundations of the welfare state, the history of economic thought, the effects of globalization on low-income countries and the climatological consequences of growth.

Economic history gives unique possibilities to understand the big social issues of today through a longer time perspective.

Career opportunities

The education prepares the student for qualified work within both the private and the public sector, as well as in NGOs and IOs. It combines skills in economic analysis, archival work, statistical analysis and source criticism which are relevant for professions like analysts, information officers, teachers, economists and journalists.

Courses and programmes


In order to get a bachelors’ degree in economic history you can either follow individual courses or the following programme:

  • Bachelor’s programme in International Relations and Economic History


Within the field of economic history at our department we research economic growth, monetary and financial conditions, work, reproduction, gendered division of labour, and usage of natural resources in different historical periods. Some researchers work with conceptual analysis or discourse analysis, while others work with advanced econometric analyses.

A distinction of the department is the long time-perspective, with a focus on the reconstruction of historical statistics from the Middle Ages until today. It is the only department in Sweden with an extensive economic historical research on medieval sources.