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Why Danish Credit Co-operatives were so unimportant

Listed author(s):
  • Timothy W. Guinnane

    (Yale University)

  • Ingrid Henriksen

    (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Denmark's credit cooperatives were introduced relatively late and were never as important to the Danish financial system as credit cooperatives in several similar European countries. This experience stands in contrast to the experience of other cooperative enterprises in Denmark, most notably cooperative creameries. We argue that the Danish experience does not reflect a lack of need for such institutions or an inability to adapt them to Danish conditions. Rather, in the 1860s rural Danish people had succeeded in adapting another form of financial institution, the savings bank, to serve the needs of the small borrowers who elsewhere were the main clientele of the credit cooperative. Thus much of the need for cooperatives had been satisfied by another institution. The Danish experience illustrates both the adaptability of financial institutions and the sensitivity of cooperatives to competition for their niche in the financial system.

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Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 97-25.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Dec 1997
Publication status: Published in: Scandinavian Economic History Review 46(2) 1998, 32-54
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:9725
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