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Culture, politics and innovation: evidence from the creameries

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  • Kevin H. O'Rourke

Abstract

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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Suggested Citation

  • Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2001. "Culture, politics and innovation: evidence from the creameries," Trinity Economics Papers 200120, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:200120
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    File URL: http://www.tcd.ie/Economics/TEP/2001_papers/tepno20KO21.PDF
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 333-338.
    3. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
    4. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    5. Baumol, William J., 1996. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, unproductive, and destructive," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, pages 3-22.
    6. 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.
    7. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-530.
    8. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 333-338.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. repec:hrv:faseco:30726298 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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-.
    13. 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, May.
    14. 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 912-950, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stulz, Rene M. & Williamson, Rohan, 2003. "Culture, openness, and finance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 313-349, December.
    2. Henriksen, Ingrid & Hviid, Morten & Sharp, Paul, 2012. "Law and Peace: Contracts and the Success of the Danish Dairy Cooperatives," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(01), pages 197-224, March.
    3. Cormac Ó Gráda, 2004. "Irish agriculture after the Land War," Open Access publications 10197/440, School of Economics, University College Dublin.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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