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‘Getting to Denmark’: the Role of Elites for Development

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  • Peter Sandholt Jensen

    (University of Southern Denmark)

  • Markus Lampe

    (Vienna University of Economics and Business)

  • Paul Sharp

    (University of Southern Denmark, CAGE, CEPR)

  • Christian Volmar Skovsgaard

    (University of Southern Denmark)

Abstract

We explore the role of elites for development and in particular for the spread of cooperative creameries in Denmark in the 1880s, which was a major factor behind that country’s rapid economic catch-up. We demonstrate empirically that the location of early proto-modern dairies, so-called hollænderier, introduced onto traditional landed estates as part of the Holstein System of agriculture by landowning elites from the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein in the eighteenth century, can explain the location of cooperative creameries in 1890, more than a century later, after controlling for other relevant determinants. We interpret this as evidence that areas close to estates which adopted the Holstein System witnessed a gradual spread of modern ideas from the estates to the peasantry. Moreover, we identify a causal relationship by utilizing the nature of the spread of the Holstein System around Denmark, and the distance to the first estate to introduce it, Sofiendal. These results are supported by evidence from a wealth of contemporary sources and are robust to a variety of alternative specifications.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0125
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    Cited by:

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    2. Suesse, Marvin & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2020. "Rural transformation, inequality, and the origins of microfinance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    3. Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Lampe, Markus & Martinelli Lasheras, Pablo & Sharp, Paul, 2020. "Winners and Losers from Enclosure: Evidence from Danish Land Inequality 1682-1895," CEPR Discussion Papers 14616, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Nicholas Ford & Kristin Ranestad & Paul Sharp, 2021. "Leaving Their Mark: Using Danish Student Grade Lists to Construct a More Detailed Measure of Historical Human Capital," Working Papers 0207, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    5. Torben Dall Schmidt & Peter Sandholt Jensen & Amber Naz, 2018. "Agricultural productivity and economic development: the contribution of clover to structural transformation in Denmark," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 387-426, December.
    6. Peter Sandholt Jensen & Cristina Victoria Radu & Battista Severgnini & Paul Sharp, 2018. "The introduction of serfdom and labour markets," Working Papers 0140, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    7. 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.
    8. 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).
    9. Peter Sandholt Jensen & Maja Uhre Pedersen & Cristina Victoria Radu & Paul Richard Sharp, 2020. "Arresting the Sword of Damocles: Dating the Transition to the Post-Malthusian Era in Denmark," Working Papers 0182, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    10. Kristin Ranestad & Paul Richard Sharp, 2020. "Success through failure? Four Centuries of Searching for Danish Coal," Working Papers 0183, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Institutions; technology; cooperatives; dairying;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

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