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The strange birth of liberal Denmark: Danish trade protection and the growth of the dairy industry since the mid‐nineteenth century

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  • INGRID HENRIKSEN
  • MARKUS LAMPE
  • PAUL SHARP

Abstract

The usual story of the “first era of globalization” at the end of the nineteenth century sees Denmark as something as an outlier: a country which, like Britain, resisted the globalization backlash in the wake of the inflow of cheap grain from the New World, but where agriculture, rather than going into decline, in fact flourished. Key to the success of Danish agriculture was an early diversification towards dairy production. We dispute this simple story which sees Denmark as something of a liberal paragon. Denmark’s success owed much to a prudent use of trade policy which favoured dairy production. Moreover, this favouritism continued even after a more general movement to free trade in the 1860s. Using micro-level data from individual dairies, we quantify the implied subsidy to dairy production from the tariffs, and demonstrate that this in many cases ensured the profitability of individual dairies.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2010.00595.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Economic History Society in its journal The Economic History Review.

Volume (Year): 65 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 770-788

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ehsrev:v:65:y:2012:i:2:p:770-788

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  1. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2009. "Something Rational in the State of Denmark? The Case of an Outsider in the Cobden-Chevalier Network 1860-1875," Discussion Papers 09-20, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Henriques, Sofia Teives & Sharp, Paul, 2014. "The Danish Agricultural Revolution in an Energy Perspective: A Case of Development with Few Domestic Energy Sources," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 9/2014, Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark.
  2. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2013. "Greasing the Wheels of Rural Transformation? Margarine and the Competition for the British Butter Market," Working Papers 0043, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  3. Stéphane BECUWE (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Bertrand BLANCHETON (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113, 2011. "Tariff growth paradox between 1850 and 1913: a critical survey (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-24, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  4. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2014. "Just Add Milk: A Productivity Analysis of the Revolutionary Changes in Nineteenth Century Danish Dairying," Working Papers in Economic History wp14-03, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.

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