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A Land of Milk and ButterHow Elites Created the Modern Danish Dairy Industry$
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Markus Lampe and Paul Sharp

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226549507

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226549644.001.0001

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Lessons from the Danish Agricultural Revolution for Developing Countries

Lessons from the Danish Agricultural Revolution for Developing Countries

(p.215) 11 Lessons from the Danish Agricultural Revolution for Developing Countries
A Land of Milk and Butter

Markus Lampe

Paul Sharp

University of Chicago Press

We start with a conclusion and summary of the previous chapters. We stress the innovations of the elites, and their connections with other groups in society. We explain that Denmark was never the liberal paragon it has often been presented as, but it was liberal and open enough to take advantage of its quite favorable natural endowments, and to allow ideas to flow from abroad. We consider the counterfactual, Denmark without the cooperatives, or without the agricultural reforms of the eighteenth century. We note that the presence of cooperatives has often been taken to be the lesson to be drawn from the Danish experience. Through historical and more recent examples, we demonstrate that a wholesale transplant of the “Danish model” to other countries has led to less than satisfactory results. This might well be because of the overemphasis of the cooperatives at the expense of the more than a century’s worth of reform and innovation, initiated by the elites, and the discovery of comparative advantage, which their success was to build upon. Moreover, it depended on the openness of the British market, something which developing countries looking to export to the developed world today do not enjoy.

Keywords:   counterfactual, economic development, development policy, institutional transfer

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