Uppsala university, Department of Economic History

The Department of Economic History conducts education on undergraduate level, advanced level and research level. At the department, about 40 teachers and researchers operates, as well as about 15 PhD students. The education on research level is in association with the National research school in Economic history.

Work duties and Project descriptions

The department of Economic history announces three PhD positions, with starting date 1 September 2024. All three positions are included in specific research projects. 

Research level education comprises four years, full time, equivalently to 240 higher education credits, of which the PhD thesis constitutes 165 higher education credits and courses 75 higher education credits. The education is financed through a combination of stipend during 1-3 years, followed by PhD employment during year 4 (project 1 and 2) alternatively PhD employment during year 1-4 (project 3).

The projects below are searching for one PhD student each:

Project 1: Banking crises and crises management in theory and practice

What causes banking crises and what can we do about them? Almost all research on this has been done at the national level, but to better understand crises and crisis management, research is needed at the bank level to examine why some banks cope with crises and others do not. And how and why individual banks respond to different interventions to prevent banking crises. The project involves the completion of a quantitative panel database of all commercial banks over the period in question. This can be combined with qualitative data from the Bank Inspectorate's archives, newspapers, parliamentary print and other government institutions (such as the Riksbank and the Swedish National Debt Office) to better understand crises and crisis management. This qualitative data will be digitised, made machine-readable and processed using modern qualitative data processing techniques.

Project qualifications: Relevant background is a degree in economic history, computer science, economics, business administration, history, political science, sociology (or similar). Documented knowledge of digital humanities and social sciences, Python and econometrics/statistics is an advantage.

More information: project leader Anders Ögren, anders.ogren@ekhist.uu.se. 

Project 2: Intangible Assets and the Alchemy of Investment Law

Two remarkable developments have occurred over the last three decades: the phenomenal growth of intangible assets and the rapid development of international investment law. These phenomena, rarely studied concomitantly, are in fact co-constitutive. It is well known that the largest companies by market capitalisation today tend to be intangible-asset-heavy companies, with intangible assets sometimes accounting for over 80% of total company value. This shift in the value composition of capitalism has gone hand in hand both with the expansion of the global intellectual property regime and that of international investment law. Investment treaties have multiplied rapidly in recent decades and currently weave almost every country into so comprehensive a web that foreign investment unprotected by a treaty is the exception today. By empirically studying a set of (foreign) investor v. (host) state arbitration cases and embedding such analysis in a multidisciplinary analysis, this project investigates the practical ways in which the international investment system enables the rise and functioning of intangible assets, esp. intellectual property ones, as the main source of wealth today

Project qualifications: multidisciplinary backgrounds are preferred, especially those boasting a strong component of critical international legal studies, international political economy, global economic history, and/or heterodox economics.

The project’s language is English. Working knowledge of other languages, especially Spanish, French, and Arabic, is a merit.

More information: project leader Valbona Muzaka, valbona.muzaka@ekhist.uu.se.

Project 3: The Impact of Spatial Childhood Conditions on Individuals’ Future Outcomes – Insights from Swedish Cities Over 140 Years

How are individuals affected by their childhood environments in terms of future labor market and educational outcomes? Despite many studies on modern data, we know relatively little about this due to three reasons: Firstly, the short time horizon in previous studies has not allowed for the evaluation of long-term effects across multiple generations. Secondly, later periods do not provide sufficient variation in the degree of social segregation and in the composition of different residential areas. Thirdly, the geographic detail necessary to more precisely identify the effect of individuals' childhood environments is often lacking.

In this project, we use geocoded data on all individuals in a large number of Swedish cities from 1880 to 2020 to study these questions. The geocoding of census data for the period before 1990 is conducted by the project and is an ongoing effort.

The doctoral project includes studying the development of segregation over time and how various spatial childhood conditions have affected individuals' labor market and educational outcomes in the long term and across generations. A particular focus is on exploring the effects of post-war housing policies, including the demolition of older residential areas and the expansion of the Million Homes Program (Miljonprogrammet). The doctoral candidate is also expected to participate in the geocoding and construction of the database. The doctoral candidate will be based at the Department of Economic History but will also be affiliated with the Institute for Housing and Urban Research (IBF) at Uppsala University.

Project qualifications: A relevant background is a degree in Economic History, Economics, Sociology, and Geography (or similar). Experience with econometric methods, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), modern and historical microdata, labor economics, and intergenerational mobility is advantageous. Proficiency in reading Swedish is also meritorious, but not a requirement.

More information: project leader Jakob Molinder, jakob.molinder@ekhist.uu.se.

Choice of project

Please note! In order to make your application complete, you need to specify what or which project(s) you are interested in applying for.

Qualification requirements
Entry requirements for third-cycle (doctoral) programmes require both general and specific eligibility. These should be upheld before being formally accepted to the program. The general entry requirements for third-cycle (doctoral) programmes are:

  • academic degree at an advanced (Master’s) level, or
  • attainment of at least 240 higher education (HE) credits for courses, of which at least 60 HE credits are awarded in the second cycle, or
  • equivalent training either in Sweden or abroad.

Additionally, admission to the third-cycle programme in economic history also requires:

  • attainment of 90 higher education credits for courses in economic history at any level, or
  • completion of equivalent training either in Sweden or abroad.

Qualified persons must master English in speech and writing. Applicants not fluent in Swedish are expected to learn Swedish during their time as PhD-students. For some specific projects, it may be a required that the applicant masters Swedish from the beginning. PhD candidates are expected to work on campus, participate in departmental activities such as seminars, workshops, etc., and actively contribute to the research environment.

How to apply
Applications can be written in Swedish or English, and should be submitted via Uppsala University’s electronic application system, and consist of:

  • A completed application in Varbi
  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • A general description (maximum 1 page) on why you are applying to the PhD program.
  • A specific motivation which of the research projects you are interested in, how you would perform the thesis work and what makes you particularly suitable (in the form of studies, work experience) for the particular PhD project.
  • Certified transcript(s) of your academic record/degree(s) to date
  • One copy of your academic theses and other independently authored scholarly texts (from bachelor and master degrees or equivalent academic papers)
  • Contact details for no more than two academic reference persons, primarily teachers and/or supervisors
  • Declaration of language proficiency: State which languages you are fluent in, and specify whether you are able to participate in academic discussions in English. 
  • Other documents you may wish to submit.

Assessment procedure
Admittance of a doctoral student is based on an assessment of the candidate’s ability to benefit from third-cycle studies. It is also dependent on the possibility of the Department to provide high-quality supervision to the doctoral student’s research. The main emphasis is laid on the scientific quality of the texts/thesis submitted by the applicant. The applicant’s education, work experience and research plan are also weighed in.

A recruitment committee first makes a shortlist selection on the basis of the submitted files, after contacts with references. The shortlist is discussed within the supervising committee and a small group of candidates is selected for interviews. The interviews will be carried out in at the end of June 2023 by representatives of the department, on campus or via Zoom. During the interview, the applicant will receive information about the competition for the different announced positions, and how his/her profile has been assessed in relation to the different projects. The applicant will have an opportunity to ask about the projects and state his/her preferences. After the interviews a final decision is made. The shortlisted applicants will be individually informed of the results of this selection process shortly afterwards. 

More information concerning doctoral education, requirements and rules for admission can be found at http://www.ekhist.uu.se/phd-studies/ at http://www.uu.se/en/admissions/phd-studies/ and http://www.hum-sam.uu.se/research/forskarutbildning/

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date 2024-09-01. Placement: Uppsala.

For further information about the position, please contact Head of research Anders Ögren, anders.ogren@ekhist.uu.se or Director of research level studies, Tom Petersson, tom.petersson@ekhist.uu.se.

Please submit your application by 12 June 2024, UFV-PA 2024/1367.

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Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2024-09-01
Salary Fixed salary
Number of positions 3
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2024/1367
Union representative
  • ST/TCO, tco@fackorg.uu.se
  • Seko Universitetsklubben, seko@uadm.uu.se
  • Saco-rådet, saco@uadm.uu.se
Published 07.May.2024
Last application date 12.Jun.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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