Economics has existed under different auspices at Lund University since its founding in 1668, when the German Samuel von Pufendorf became professor of natural and international law. In 1750, the Faculty of Philosophy created a professorship in "economics and commerce", which at Carl Adolph Agardh's inauguaration 1812 had been extended to "economics and botany". At his resignation 1833, the professorship expired. In 1835 the Faculty of Law instituted a professorship in "economics and business law". Its most luminous chair holder was Knut Wicksell, who was professor between 1901 and 1916. Johan Åkerman became the first professor in "economics" at the Faculty of Philosophy in 1943 and became the founder of the Department of Economics in 1947.
In 1988, the department moved to Holger Crafoord Center of Economics and Business from the city center. Today the department belongs to Lund School of Economics and Management, a faculty at Lund University.