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Contracts and cooperation: the relative failure of the Irish dairy industry in the late nineteenth century reconsidered

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  • Ingrid Henriksen
  • Eoin McLaughlin
  • Paul Sharp

Abstract

Why did the establishment of cooperative creameries in late nineteenth-century Ireland fail to halt the relative decline of her dairy industry compared with other emerging producers? This paper compares the Irish experience with that of the market leader, Denmark, and shows how each adopted the cooperative organizational form, and highlights that an important difference was institutional: specifically, regarding the enforcement of vertically binding contracts. We argue that this failure, combined with a strong proprietary sector which was opposed to cooperation, reinforced the already difficult conditions for dairying in Ireland due to poor social capital.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ereveh:v:19:y:2015:i:4:p:412-431.
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    12. Eoin McLaughlin & Paul Sharp, 2021. "Competition between organisational forms in Danish and Irish dairying around the turn of the twentieth century," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 63(2), pages 314-341, February.
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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. Eoin McLaughlin & Paul Sharp, 2021. "Competition between organisational forms in Danish and Irish dairying around the turn of the twentieth century," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 63(2), pages 314-341, February.
    3. Marijn Molema, 2017. "Collective organisation of knowledge in the early phase of the Dutch- Friesian dairy industry (c. 1880-1914)," Historia Agraria. Revista de Agricultura e Historia Rural, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria, issue 73, pages 91-118, december.
    4. Samuel Garrido, 2018. "Why the first cooperative wineries produced poor quality wine, why they were so scarce and why they were set up: evidence from Spain," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 1807, Asociación Española de Historia Económica.
    5. Peter Sandholt Jensen & Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp & Christian Volmar Skovsgaard, 2018. "‘Getting to Denmark’: the Role of Elites for Development," Working Papers 0125, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    6. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2017. "ÔRationalÕ Farmers and the Emergence of Modern Accounting in Danish Dairying," Working Papers 0115, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    7. Sofia Henriques & Eoin McLaughlin & Paul Sharp & Xanthi Tsoukli & Christian Veddel, 2020. "Opening the Black Box of the Danish Dairy Cooperatives: A Productivity Analysis," Working Papers 0203, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    8. 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).
    9. Bengtsson, Erik, 2019. "Reconsidering the Role of Farmer Politics in Swedish Democratization," Lund Papers in Economic History 205, Lund University, Department of Economic History.

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    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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