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Incentives, technology and the shift to year‐round dairying in late nineteenth‐century Denmark

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  • INGRID HENRIKSEN
  • KEVIN H. O'ROURKE

Abstract

This article uses monthly trade data to document the decline in the seasonality in Danish butter exports that occurred from the 1880s onwards. This decline contrasted with steady or increasing seasonality elsewhere. Monthly butter prices in Britain, Denmark, and Ireland show that the incentives to shift into winter dairying were particularly high in the 1880s and 1890s; however, this cannot on its own explain the Danish shift, since our price data show that farmers elsewhere faced winter premia that were every bit as high as the Danish premia. The crucial factor in Denmark was the generation of empirical knowledge by the private and public sectors systematically analysing empirical evidence; the rapid diffusion of this knowledge in a highly educated society via lectures, exhibitions, written materials, and by institutions such as the new cooperative sector; and a willingness to absorb this knowledge by profit‐maximizing farmers.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingrid Henriksen & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2005. "Incentives, technology and the shift to year‐round dairying in late nineteenth‐century Denmark," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 58(3), pages 520-554, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ehsrev:v:58:y:2005:i:3:p:520-554
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0289.2005.00312.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2005.00312.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Vincent Bignon & Cecilia Garcia-Peñalosa, 2018. "The Toll of Tariffs: Protectionism, Education and Fertility in Late 19th Century France," Working papers 690, Banque de France.
    2. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2015. "Just add milk: a productivity analysis of the revolutionary changes in nineteenth-century Danish dairying," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 68(4), pages 1132-1153, November.
    3. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2014. "Greasing the wheels of rural transformation? Margarine and the competition for the British butter market," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(3), pages 769-792, August.
    4. Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Sharp, Paul, 2019. "Immigrant Communities and Knowledge Spillovers: DanishAmericans and the Development of the Dairy Industry in the United States," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 420, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2015. "How the Danes discovered Britain: the international integration of the Danish dairy industry before 1880," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 432-453.
    6. Gerard van den Berg & Gabriele Doblhammer-Reiter & Kaare Christensen, 2011. "Being Born Under Adverse Economic Conditions Leads to a Higher Cardiovascular Mortality Rate Later in Life: Evidence Based on Individuals Born at Different Stages of the Business Cycle," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 507-530, May.
    7. Li, Ya-Wei (Jake), 2020. "When Does Critical Habitat Designation Benefit Species Recovery?," Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University 307170, Center for Growth and Opportunity.
    8. Josep Pujol Andreu & Roser Nicolau Nos & Ismael Hernández Adell, 2007. "El consumo de leche fresca en Cataluña entre mediados del siglo XIX y 1935: la difusión de un nuevo alimento," Historia Agraria. Revista de Agricultura e Historia Rural, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria, issue 42, pages 303-325, august.
    9. Paul Sharp & Ingrid Henriksen & Markus Lampe, 2011. "The role of technology and institutions for growth: Danish creameries in the late-19th century," Working Papers 11028, Economic History Society.

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