Economic Thought and Policy in Less Developed Europe: The Nineteenth Century

Economic Thought and Policy in Less Developed Europe: The Nineteenth Century

Economic Thought and Policy in Less Developed Europe: The Nineteenth Century

Economic Thought and Policy in Less Developed Europe: The Nineteenth Century

Synopsis

These essays consider the process of dissemination of economic ideas among Europe's less developed countries and regions. They also examine economic thought and policy at different times and places in Europe during the 19th century.

Excerpt

Economic theory and economic development in Denmark, 1848-1914

Niels Kaergaard

The first aim of this chapter is to analyse the relationship between development in economics and development in the economy. To what degree is economic development determined by an economic policy founded in economic theory, and to what degree is economic theory a reflection of trends in the real society and its economy?

The second aim of the chapter is to discuss the relationships between the centre and a peripheral country such as Denmark.

The analysis focuses on Denmark, and the period chosen for consideration is 1848-1914. Denmark was not particularly poor during that time. the per capita income in Denmark in 1870 was 43% less than in the United Kingdom and 26% less than in the Netherlands, but 35% higher than in Spain and 19% higher than in Sweden, and almost at the same level as in France and Austria (Maddison, 1991).

Nevertheless, Denmark was a peripheral country, insofar as almost all trends in the economy and in Danish economics were determined by developments in the European centres, especially England. the main economic sector in Denmark was agriculture, and this sector was mainly a supplier of food for the industrialized British cities. the theoretical debate and doctrines in Danish economics were strongly influenced by discussions in the leading European centres; British economists such as John Stuart Mill, W.S. Jevons and Alfred Marshall were well known in Denmark, as were the Austrians and the German historical school.

The chapter consists of this introduction, three main sections and a conclusion. the next section describes the political context in Denmark. the third section deals with the economy, and the fourth section with Danish economics. Finally, the relationships between economics and the economy, and between centre and periphery, are discussed in the conclusion.

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