Land of Milk and Butter: How elites created the modern Danish Dairy Industry

Project: Private Foundations

Project Details


To translate and publish research into the economic breakthrough of Denmark in the late 19th century. Research that started with a post-doc project financed by the Carlsbergfoundation: Den danske mejeriindustri i 1800-tallet: den tidlige udvikling, og grundene til dens succes. Economic history helps to understand where the development comes from - knowledge that developing countries today can use to accelerate their own economic development. In this light, Danish economic history is particularly interesting, as Denmark underwent a dramatic development in the 19th century, which contributed to Denmark today being one of the most developed countries in the world. Of particular interest is that agriculture has been a primary source of Danish development, which makes history different from most other countries. The manuscript provides a radical reinter-pretation of the background of the rapid growth in agricultural exports, which over time formed the basis for the country to become one of the richest in the world. It was commonly thought that Denmark revolutionized its economy, mainly due to the rapid spread of new technology, i.e. the centrifuge and new institutions; the cooperative movement. The manuscript describes that Danish success was far more complicated than that. It rested on a number of favorable conditions and targeted measures, including easy access to coal imports, early land reforms and immigration of labor and producers with relevant know-how. The manuscript provides insight that also has relevance for current developing countries.
Effective start/end date05/01/202031/07/2020