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A quest for useful knowledge: the early development of agricultural accounting in Denmark and Northern Germany


  • Markus Lampe
  • Paul Sharp


We discuss the early development of sophisticated agricultural accounting in Northern Germany and Denmark within a framework that establishes the role of accounting for knowledge generation and subsequent economic growth. We highlight the work of Thaer, on encouraging and systematising the use of double-entry bookkeeping in agriculture for scientific and efficiency purposes, and that of Gyllembourg, who emphasised the calculation of economic returns in monetary value. Evidence exists to suggest that their work was the basis upon which further developments in accounting practice in the nineteenth century were laid, supporting the rapid modernisation and success of Danish agriculture.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2017. "A quest for useful knowledge: the early development of agricultural accounting in Denmark and Northern Germany," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(1), pages 73-99, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:acbsfi:v:27:y:2017:i:1:p:73-99
    DOI: 10.1080/21552851.2016.1264985

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. de Vries,Jan, 1976. "The Economy of Europe in an Age of Crisis, 1600–1750," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521290500, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2017. "ÔRationalÕ Farmers and the Emergence of Modern Accounting in Danish Dairying," Working Papers 0115, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    2. 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).
    3. 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).
    4. Nicholas Ford & Kristin Ranestad & Paul Sharp, 2022. "Leaving Their Mark: Using Danish Student Grade Lists to Construct a More Detailed Measure of Historical Human Capital," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 29-56.
    5. Kobiljon Khushvakhtzoda (Barfiev) & Dmitry Nazarov, 2021. "The Fuzzy Methodology’s Digitalization of the Biological Assets Evaluation in Agricultural Enterprises in Accordance with the IFRS," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 9(8), pages 1-16, April.
    6. 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.
    7. Eoin McLaughlin & Paul Sharp & Xanthi Tsoukli & Christian Vedel, 2021. "Ireland in a Danish mirror: A microlevel comparison of the productivity of Danish and Irish creameries before the First World War," Working Papers 0219, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    8. Giraudeau, Martin, 2017. "The farm as an accounting laboratory: an essay on the history of accounting and agriculture," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 74106, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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