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Success through failure? Four Centuries of Searching for Danish Coal

Author

Listed:
  • Kristin Ranestad

    (Lund University)

  • Paul Richard Sharp

    (University of Southern Denmark, CAGE, CEPR)

Abstract

Natural resources, especially energy resources, are often considered vital to the process of economic development, with the availability of coal considered central for the nineteenth century. Clearly, however, although coal might have spurred economic development, development might also have spurred the discovery and use of coal. To shed light on this, we suggest that the case of resource poor Denmark, which spent centuries looking for coal, is illuminating. Specifically, we emphasize that the process of looking for coal and the creation of a natural resource industry in itself is important beyond the obvious dichotomy of haves and have-nots. We seek to understand this process and find that prices proved an important stimulus to coal surveys.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristin Ranestad & Paul Richard Sharp, 2020. "Success through failure? Four Centuries of Searching for Danish Coal," Working Papers 0183, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  • Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0183
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Sofia Teives Henriques & Paul Sharp, 2021. "Without coal in the age of steam and dams in the age of electricity: an explanation for the failure of Portugal to industrialize before the Second World War," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 85-105.
    3. Lampe, Markus & Sharp, Paul, 2019. "A Land of Milk and Butter," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226549507, September.
    4. Nina Boberg-Fazlic & Markus Lampe & Pablo Martinelli Lasheras & Paul Sharp, 2020. "Winners and Losers from Enclosure: Evidence from Danish Land Inequality 1682-1895," Working Papers 0178, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    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. 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).
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    9. Wrigley,E. A., 2010. "Energy and the English Industrial Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521766937, November.
    10. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2015. "How the Danes discovered Britain: the international integration of the Danish dairy industry before 1880," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 432-453.
    11. David de Ferranti & Guillermo E. Perry & Daniel Lederman & William E. Maloney, 2002. "From Natural Resources to the Knowledge Economy : Trade and Job Quality," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 14040, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coal; Denmark; natural resources; mining;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N55 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Asia including Middle East

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