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Culture, politics and innovation: evidence from the creameries

  • Kevin H. O'Rourke

This Paper explores the diffusion of two agricultural innovations in late 19th century Denmark and Ireland: the milk separator and the cooperative creamery. It asks whether variables identified as important for innovation and growth by cross-country regressions mattered in this instance: in particular, education, uncertain property rights, and social capital. The Paper finds that literacy and conflict regarding property rights impeded the diffusion of milk separators in Ireland, and that the propensity to cooperate there was lower among Catholics than among Protestants. These factors all help explain the superior performance of the Danish dairy industry during this period.

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File URL: http://www.tcd.ie/Economics/TEP/2001_papers/tepno20KO21.PDF
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Paper provided by Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics in its series Trinity Economics Papers with number 200120.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:200120
Contact details of provider: Postal: Trinity College, Dublin 2
Phone: (+ 353 1) 6081325
Fax: 6772503
Web page: http://www.tcd.ie/Economics/
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  1. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
  2. O'Rourke, K.H., 1999. "Culture, Politics and Innovation: Creamery Diffusion in late 19th Century Denmark and Ireland," Papers 99/23, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  3. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1990. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," NBER Working Papers 3530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  6. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
  7. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
  8. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  9. Joel Mokyr & Cormac Ó Gráda, 1988. "Poor and getting poorer? Living standards in Ireland before the Famine," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 41(2), pages 209-235, 05.
  10. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  11. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-38, May.
  12. Easterlin, Richard A., 1981. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 1-17, March.
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