The origins of the (cooperative) species: Raiffeisen banking in the Netherlands, 1898–1909

Christopher L. Colvin, Stuart Henderson, John D. Turner

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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Cooperatively owned Raiffeisen banks first emerged in the Netherlands in the late 1890s and spread rapidly across the country. Using a new dataset, we investigate the determinants of their market entry and early performance. We find the cooperative organisational form, when allied to a change in the structure of Dutch agriculture and the socioreligious pillarisation of Dutch society, was an important factor explaining their entry into rural financial markets. While religious organisations provided a necessary impetus for the emergence of Raiffeisen banks, the economic advantages associated with cooperative enterprises ensured the subsequent survival and success of these banks.

“We will now discuss in a little more detail the Struggle for Existence.”
From Charles Darwin, The Origins of the Species (1859)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-782
Number of pages34
JournalEuropean Review of Economic History
Issue number4
Early online date14 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2020 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Cooperative banking
  • the Netherlands
  • Raiffeisen
  • religion


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