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The Strange Birth of Liberal Denmark: Danish trade protection and the growth of the dairy industry since the mid-nineteenth century

Author

Listed:
  • Ingrid Henriksen

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Markus Lampe

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Paul Sharp

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

The usual story of the “first era of globalization” at the end of the nineteenth century sees Denmark as something as an outlier: a country which, like Britain, resisted the globalization backlash in the wake of the inflow of cheap grain from the New World, but where agriculture, rather than going into decline, in fact flourished. Key to the success of Danish agriculture was an early diversification towards dairy production. We dispute this simple story which sees Denmark as something of a liberal paragon. Denmark’s success owed much to a prudent use of trade policy which favoured dairy production. Moreover, this favouritism continued even after a more general movement to free trade in the 1860s. Using micro-level data from individual dairies, we quantify the implied subsidy to dairy production from the tariffs, and demonstrate that this in many cases ensured the profitability of individual dairies.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingrid Henriksen & Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2010. "The Strange Birth of Liberal Denmark: Danish trade protection and the growth of the dairy industry since the mid-nineteenth century," Discussion Papers 10-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1004
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    File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/english/research/publications/wp/dp_2010/1004.pdf/
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2009. "Something Rational in the State of Denmark? The Case of an Outsider in the Cobden-Chevalier Network 1860-1875," Discussion Papers 09-20, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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).
    2. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2015. "Just add milk: a productivity analysis of the revolutionary changes in nineteenth-century Danish dairying," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 68(4), pages 1132-1153, November.
    3. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2014. "Greasing the wheels of rural transformation? Margarine and the competition for the British butter market," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(3), pages 769-792, August.
    4. 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.
    5. Skovsgaard, Christian Volmar & Sharp, Paul & Jensen, Peter Sandholt & Lampe, Markus, 2018. "Getting to Denmark' : the Role of Elites for Development," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 26211, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    6. 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).
    7. 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.
    8. Stéphane BECUWE & Bertrand BLANCHETON, 2011. "Tariff growth paradox between 1850 and 1913: a critical survey (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2011-24, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    9. 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.
    10. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2017. "ÔRationalÕ Farmers and the Emergence of Modern Accounting in Danish Dairying," Working Papers 0115, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    11. Christopher L. Colvin & Eoin McLaughlin, 2014. "Raiffeisenism abroad: why did German cooperative banking fail in Ireland but prosper in the Netherlands?," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(2), pages 492-516, May.
    12. Stéphane Becuwe & Bertrand Blancheton & Christopher M. Meissner, 2018. "The French (Trade) Revolution of 1860: Intra-Industry Trade and Smooth Adjustment," NBER Working Papers 25173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    dairies; Denmark; protection; tariffs; cheese;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N5 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services

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