Macrohistory Seminar – Paul Sharp (University of Southern Denmark)

Event details

  • | Thursday, November 23
  • 12:15 PM
  • Kaiserplatz 7-9, 4th floor, Room 4.006

“A Land ‘of Milk and Butter’: The Role of Elites for the Economic Development of Denmark” joint with: Peter Sandholt Jensen (University of Southern Denmark),
Markus Lampe (Vienna University of Economics and Business) and Christian Volmar Skovsgaard (University of Southern Denmark)

We explore the role of historical elites for development and in particular for the spread of cooperative creameries in Denmark after 1882, which is often cited as 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 by often German-speaking 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 of cooperation. We interpret this as evidence that areas close to a hollænderi 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 hollænderier around Denmark, and the distance to the first hollænderi. These results are supported by evidence from a wealth of contemporary sources.
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