Danish Capitalism in the 20th Century: The Business History of a Mixed Economy

Martin Jes Iversen, Stefan Kirkegaard Sløk-Madsen

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    One of the most peculiar characteristics of the Danish economy is the many world leading, specialized corporations. With only approximately 5.5 million inhabitants the country hosts some of the world largest companies within several industries. These companies grew out of a capitalist economy marked by large-scale redistribution and a very active public sector. The purpose of this book project is to analyze development of Danish capitalism in the 20th century. The first of our hypothesis state that the phases of Danish capitalism and the general corporate strategies reflected each other - the question is how and why. In order to answer these questions the research project will turn to a second hypothesis namely that history matters as a majority of the large successful globalized firms were founded before 1925. Again, the question is how and why. The project aims to understand on a micro level how the corporate strategies shaped and was shaped by the changing nature of Danish capitalism. Such a work as this is important as it bears testimony to the changing nature of market institutions. A descriptive and analytic exercise such as proposed here have only to a limited extent been carried out in the Danish language, and never in a compiled, comprehensive, and connected work. The English language situation for understanding Danish capitalism is even more dire, which leads to increasing, and likely reinforcing, stereotypes and myths about “the fairytale country”.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2017
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Event16th Session of the Institutional and Organizational Economics Academy - Cargèse, France
    Duration: 22 May 201726 May 2017
    Conference number: 16


    Conference16th Session of the Institutional and Organizational Economics Academy
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