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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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    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. Suesse, Marvin & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2020. "Rural transformation, inequality, and the origins of microfinance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    3. Nathan Foley-Fisher & Eoin McLaughlin, 2015. "Capitalising on the Irish Land Question:Land Reform and State Banking in Ireland, 1891-1938," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2015-03, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
    4. Juan Carmona & James Simpson, 2019. "El microcrédito antes de las cooperativas: pósitos y crédito público agrario en España en vísperas de la Gran Guerra," Historia Agraria. Revista de Agricultura e Historia Rural, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria, issue 77, pages 169-199, april.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Hans Groeneveld, 2020. "Reconciling different truths about isomorphic pressure and distinctive behavior at European cooperative banks: Back to the future with Raiffeisen's principles," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(3), pages 359-386, September.
    8. Nathan Foley-Fisher & Eoin McLaughlin, 2013. "Irish Land Bonds: 1891-1938," Edinburgh School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 239, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    9. 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(3), pages 866-919, September.
    10. Samuel Garrido, 0. "Inequality and conflict as drivers of cooperation: the location of wine cooperatives in pre-1936 Spain," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 0, pages 1-34.
    11. 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.
    12. McKillop, Donal & French, Declan & Quinn, Barry & Sobiech, Anna L. & Wilson, John O.S., 2020. "Cooperative financial institutions: A review of the literature," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    13. 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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