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Agricultural cooperatives in Spain, between failure and success? (1890-2001)

Candido Roman-Cervantes ()
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Candido Roman-Cervantes: University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain

No 1509, Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) from Asociación Española de Historia Económica

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to show an overview of the Spanish agricultural cooperatives. It responds to the reasons why the agricultural associations were not consolidated enough in the early stages of development, and especially what contributed to their weakness. State action, determined for over half a century the rules of corporate governance. This was a heavy burden for its modernization and adaptation to the rules of international markets. Spanish historiography seems to be in agreement with the three cycles. The appearance of the first associative experiences during the last third of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries marks the first phase of the process. Although they were influenced by the strained political environment, being considered as a sort of radical labor niche, they proliferated strongly in the Mediterranean and North regions where small and middle-sized farms were relatively important. This lead to the consolidation of cooperatives and in some ways, to the transformation of the agricultural sector. The second phase started after the Civil War. Cooperatives entered a period of decline and inactivity in spite of government support through tax reductions and other actions aimed at monitoring the agricultural cooperatives. Finally, it was during the last third of the twentieth century until now, that the cooperative model became rather more active in the modernization of agriculture with cooperatives. As well as that, the globalization of enterprises was also accomplished. For that, there started a tendency of mergers towards second tier cooperatives that were larger and had an international dimension.

Keywords: agricultural cooperatives; regulation; modernization; evolution. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N5 N4 Q1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-his and nep-hme
Date: 2015-07
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