Lund University, LUSEM, Dept of Economic History

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University School of Economics and Management is one of eight faculties within Lund University. More than 4 000 students and 450 researchers, teachers and other staff are engaged here in training and research in economic history, business administration, business law, informatics, economics, statistics and research policy.

The Department of Economic History is a research-intensive department that employs about 100 people: researchers, teachers, technical/administrative staff, and Ph.D. candidates. The department has a large PhD programme and co-ordinates three international Master programmes. The Department has a well established reputation for wide-ranging research with an emphasis on long-term processes, and with economic theory and quantitative methods as important methodological tools. Strong research areas at the department include economic growth and structural change, innovation, energy and sustainability, development economics, and economic demography, as well as financial history and education and the labour market. More information is available at the Department’s website:

Assigned duties

Those appointed to doctoral studentship shall primarily devote themselves to their studies, aimed to result in a doctoral degree. Work carried out during the studentship consists of participation in research projects as well as successful participation in postgraduate (third-cycle) courses. Those appointed to doctoral studentships may also work, to a limited extent, with educational tasks and administration at the Department of Economic history. However, duties of this kind may not comprise of more than 20 per cent of a full time post.

The PhD position is linked to the research project A consumer revolution? Evidence from Sweden, funded by Handelsbankens forskningsstiftelser. The PhD student will work in this project in collaboration with the other project members, professor Mats Olsson and docent Erik Bengtsson.

Eligibility / Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she has:

  • Been awarded a second-cycle degree; or
  • Satisfied the requirements for courses comprising of at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle; or
  • Acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

(Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 7, Section 39)

Specific admission requirements for doctoral studies in each subject are specified in the relevant general syllabus, available at

Other requirements

Due to the nature of the source material, good reading comprehension in Swedish is necessary. A proficient level of English is required in both written and oral communication.

Basis of assessment

Admittance of a doctoral student is based on an assessment of the candidate’s ability to benefit from third-cycle studies.

The applicant’s ability to benefit from third-cycle studies and research will be assessed with reference to the selection criteria stated in the relevant general syllabus for third-cycle studies, available at

Applicant’s general competence:

  • Quality and content of previous written work, such as a Master’s thesis.
  • Ability to participate actively in the Department’s research environment.
  • Ability to perform independent scientific work.
  • Experience of working with historical databases.
  • Since the research is based on handwritten material from the 1600-1700-1800s, knowledge in paleography is an advantage, but not a requirement
  • Proficiency in written and oral communication 
  • Relevant educational background
  • Other relevant experiences for third-cycle education, such as work experience.

We are interested in applicants with an interest in Early Modern history, consumption, material living standards and culture, inequality, and economic development.


The aim of the project is to study living standards, consumption and economic development in Sweden from the mid-17th century to the mid-19th century. Did the material standard of living improve in terms of ownership of clothing, furniture, household appliances and other things? How similar or different was urban development to that of the countryside? How was the standard of living compared to other European countries studied? How did the degree of specialization versus multitasking develop in Swedish households’ supply strategies? In the project, we will address these and similar questions. Our main source material is a couple of thousand probate inventories from southern Sweden covering the years 1680–1720, 1770–90 and 1840–60, from both the countryside and cities. With this rich material, that is consistent over a long period of time, we can provide an almost unique insight into the development of material life in Europe. The probate inventories provide an opportunity to investigate the consumption and ownership of textiles, colonial products such as coffee and sugar, and furniture. Here, the project relates to discussions about Early Modern consumption and consumption as a driving force for economic development. We are also interested in household ownership of tools and the importance of the division of labour for economic development. The study has bearing on the discussion about the drivers and dynamics of pre-industrial economic development, as well as on the discussion on historical living standards and how it should be measured and understood.

Terms of employment

Fixed-term employment, maximum four years (fulltime studies).

Only those admitted to third-cycle courses and study programmes at a higher education may be appointed to doctoral student.

For regulations concerning employment of doctoral students etc, see the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 5, Sections 1-7.

For regulations concerning admission to third-cycle courses and study programs, see the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 5, Sections 34-41.

Application procedure

Please use Lund University job application portal when applying:

The application must be written in English.

The application should contain:

  • Personal letter in which the applicant gives a short description of him/herself and his/her research interests and its relevance for the project.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Grade transcripts.
  • Master thesis or similar degree projects.
  • If appropriate, documented language skills relevant for third-cycle studies.
  • Other documents that the applicant wishes to submit.

The applicant is encouraged to name a maximum of two teachers or researchers who can give recommendation letters, but we do not consider recommendation letters with the application.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment 2020-08-31
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2020/1783
  • Docent Erik Bengtsson,, +46462224352
  • Professor Mats Olsson,, +46462223118
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Published 24.May.2020
Last application date 18.Jun.2020 11:59 PM CET

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