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

49 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2018

See all articles by Peter S. Jensen

Peter S. Jensen

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics

Markus Lampe

Vienna University of Economics and Business

Paul Richard Sharp

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics

Christian Skovsgaard

University of Southern Denmark, Department of Public Health, Danish Centre for Health Economics

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Date Written: February 2018

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 as part of the Holstein System of agriculture 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, after controlling for other relevant determinants. 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. These results are supported by evidence from a wealth of contemporary sources and are robust to a variety of alternative specifications.

Keywords: cooperatives, dairying, institutions, technology

JEL Classification: N53, O13, Q13

Suggested Citation

Jensen, Peter S. and Lampe, Markus and Sharp, Paul Richard and Skovsgaard, Christian, 'Getting to Denmark': The Role of Elites for Development (February 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12679, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3118327

Peter S. Jensen (Contact Author)

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense M, 5230
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://www.sam.sdu.dk/staff/psj

Markus Lampe

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

Paul Richard Sharp

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

DK-5230 Odense
Denmark

Christian Skovsgaard

University of Southern Denmark, Department of Public Health, Danish Centre for Health Economics ( email )

J. B. Winsløwsvej 9B, 1.
Odense, 5000 C
Denmark

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