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Local constraints and knowledge transfer in the formation and development of cooperatives: Catalonia, 1860?1939

Francisco J. Medina-Albaladejo (), María Dolores Añón-Higón (), Alfonso Díez-Minguela and Josemiguel Lana-Berasain
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Francisco J. Medina-Albaladejo: Universidad de Valencia, Spain
María Dolores Añón-Higón: Universidad de Valencia, Spain
Alfonso Díez-Minguela: Universidad de Valencia, Spain

No 1808, Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) from Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica

Abstract: Different factors have been proposed to explain why in some regions there is a greater tendency to form cooperatives. Although the debate remains open, the literature offers several interpretations. On the one hand, some studies have stressed the role played by human capital, market access and institutions, among other factors, while other studies have pointed to path dependence, that is to say, the development of social capital and trust within a society in the past encourages cooperation. Disentangling both effects is far from trivial and requires a careful analysis. In this study, we look at the spread of cooperativism within Catalonia from 1860 to 1939. Catalonia was not just the leading industrial region in Spain, but also where cooperatives first emerged and had a greater presence. In line with the existing evidence, we find that cooperativism spread from coastal municipalities to the hinterland. In this regard, it appears that literacy and accessibility facilitated this process. Besides, social capital cannot be discarded as a relevant factor, especially in rural contexts.

Keywords: Cooperatives; Human Capital; Social Capital; Knowledge Transfer; Catalonia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: P13 Z13 N9 N3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his, nep-soc and nep-ure
Date: 2018-11
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