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'Getting to Denmark': The Role of Elites for Development

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  • Boberg-Fazlic, Nina

    (Department of Business and Economics)

  • Jensen, Peter Sandholt

    (Department of Business and Economics)

  • Lampe, Markus

    (Vienna University of Economics and Business, CEPR)

  • Sharp, Paul

    (Department of Business and Economics)

  • Skovsgaard, Christian Volmar

    (Department of Public Health - Health Economy)

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 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. 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. Finally, we demonstrate that areas with cooperatives also enjoyed higher levels of income.

Suggested Citation

  • Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Jensen, Peter Sandholt & Lampe, Markus & Sharp, Paul & Skovsgaard, Christian Volmar, 2020. "'Getting to Denmark': The Role of Elites for Development," Discussion Papers on Economics 5/2020, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sdueko:2020_005
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    Cited by:

    1. 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).
    2. Nina Boberg-Fazlić & Paul Sharp, 2024. "Immigrant Communities and Knowledge Spillovers: Danish Americans and the Development of the Dairy Industry in the United States," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 102-146, January.
    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. Suesse, Marvin & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2020. "Rural transformation, inequality, and the origins of microfinance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    5. 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).
    6. Kristin Ranestad & Paul Sharp, 2023. "Success through failure? Four centuries of searching for Danish coal," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 65(8), pages 1341-1365, November.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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).
    10. 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.
    11. 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).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Institutions; technology; knowledge spillovers; landowning elites; cooperatives; Denmark;
    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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