Raiffeisenism abroad: why did German cooperative banking fail in Ireland but prosper in the Netherlands?

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    Why did imitations of Raiffeisen’s rural cooperative savings and loans associations work well in some European countries, but fail in others? This article considers the example of Raiffeisenism in Ireland and in the Netherlands. Raiffeisen banks arrived in both places at the same time, but had drastically different fates. In Ireland they were almost wiped out by the early 1920s, while in the Netherlands they proved to be a long-lasting institutional transplant. Raiffeisen banks were successful in the Netherlands because they operated in niche markets with few competitors, while rural financial markets in Ireland were unsegmented and populated by long- established incumbents, leaving little room for new players, whatever their institu- tional advantages. Dutch Raiffeisen banks were largely self-financing, closely integrated into the wider rural economy, and able to take advantage of economic and religious divisions in rural society. Their Irish counterparts were not.

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    • Raiffeisenism abroad

      Rights statement: © Economic History Society 2013. This is the peer reviewed version of this article, which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1111/1468-0289.12030. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

      Accepted author manuscript, 818 KB, PDF-document

    DOI

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages24
    Pages (from-to)492-516
    JournalEconomic History Review
    Journal publication dateMay 2014
    Issue number2
    Volume67
    Early online date14 Oct 2013
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2014

    ID: 5529968