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Raiffeisenism abroad: why did German cooperative banking fail in Ireland but prosper in the Netherlands?

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  • Christopher L. Colvin
  • Eoin McLaughlin

Abstract

type="main"> Why did imitations of Raiffeisen's rural cooperative savings and loans associations work well in some European countries, but fail in others? This article considers the example of Raiffeisenism in Ireland and in the Netherlands. Raiffeisen banks arrived in both places at the same time, but had drastically different fates. In Ireland they were almost wiped out by the early 1920s, while in the Netherlands they proved to be a long-lasting institutional transplant. Raiffeisen banks were successful in the Netherlands because they operated in niche markets with few competitors, while rural financial markets in Ireland were unsegmented and populated by long-established incumbents, leaving little room for new players, whatever their institutional advantages. Dutch Raiffeisen banks were largely self-financing, closely integrated into the wider rural economy, and able to take advantage of economic and religious divisions in rural society. Their Irish counterparts were not.

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  • Christopher L. Colvin & Eoin McLaughlin, 2014. "Raiffeisenism abroad: why did German cooperative banking fail in Ireland but prosper in the Netherlands?," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(2), pages 492-516, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ehsrev:v:67:y:2014:i:2:p:492-516
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/1468-0289.12030
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    Cited by:

    1. Ingrid Henriksen & Eoin McLaughlin & Paul Sharp, 2015. "Contracts and cooperation: the relative failure of the Irish dairy industry in the late nineteenth century reconsidered," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 412-431.
    2. Foley-Fisher, Nathan & McLaughlin, Eoin, 2016. "Capitalising on the Irish land question: land reform and state banking in Ireland, 1891–1938," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(01), pages 71-109, April.
    3. repec:seh:journl:y:2019:i:77:m:april:p:169-199 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Henderson, Stuart, 2016. "Religion and development in post-famine Ireland," QUCEH Working Paper Series 2016-01, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    5. Colvin, Christopher L. & de Jong, Abe & Fliers, Philip T., 2015. "Predicting the past: Understanding the causes of bank distress in the Netherlands in the 1920s," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 97-121.
    6. Nathan Foley-Fisher & Eoin McLaughlin, 2013. "Irish Land Bonds: 1891-1938," ESE Discussion Papers 239, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    7. Colvin, Christopher L., 2017. "Banking on a Religious Divide: Accounting for the Success of the Netherlands' Raiffeisen Cooperatives in the Crisis of the 1920s," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(03), pages 866-919, September.
    8. Colvin, Christopher L., 2015. "The past, present and future of banking history," QUCEH Working Paper Series 15-05, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    9. Christopher L. Colvin & Stuart Henderson & John D. Turner, 2018. "The Origins of the (Cooperative) Species: Raiffeisen Banking in the Netherlands, 1898–1909," Working Papers 0126, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).

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