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Law and Peace: Contracts and the Success of the Danish Dairy Cooperatives

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  • HENRIKSEN, INGRID
  • HVIID, MORTEN
  • SHARP, PAUL

Abstract

We consider the successful early emergence of cooperative creameries in Denmark in the late nineteenth century within the framework of the “new institutional economics” presented by Oliver Williamson. Previous work focused on the social cohesion of the Danes, but we demonstrate that this was not sufficient for their success. The Danish legal system, which we compare to that of other countries, was also of crucial importance, along with the way in which rules were monitored and enforced. Of particular interest is the Danish cooperatives’ use of contracts, which we explore with evidence from a variety of primary and secondary sources.

Suggested Citation

  • Henriksen, Ingrid & Hviid, Morten & Sharp, Paul, 2012. "Law and Peace: Contracts and the Success of the Danish Dairy Cooperatives," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(01), pages 197-224, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:72:y:2012:i:01:p:197-224_00
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2001. "Culture, politics and innovation: evidence from the creameries," Trinity Economics Papers 200120, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    2. KevinH. O'Rourke, 2007. "Culture, Conflict and Cooperation: Irish Dairying Before the Great War," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1357-1379, October.
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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. Sofia Teives Henriques & Paul Sharp, 2016. "The Danish agricultural revolution in an energy perspective: a case of development with few domestic energy sources," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(3), pages 844-869, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Eva Fernández, 2014. "Trust, religion, and cooperation in western agriculture, 1880–1930," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(3), pages 678-698, August.
    5. 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.
    6. Eoin McLaughlin & Paul Sharp, 2015. "Competition between organisational forms in Danish and Irish dairying around the turn of the twentieth century," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2015-16, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

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