A Firm Level Database of Irish Creameries, 1897–1921

Eoin McLaughlin, Paul Sharp, Xanthi Tsoukli, Christian Vedel

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We present a microlevel database of Irish cooperative creameries covering the period 1897–1921. The data were hand collected from the annual reports of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS) and contain information from 531 creameries and covering 49 variables. We perform some initial analysis of the data, finding considerable heterogeneity in the productivity of creameries as measured by the milk/butter ratio. We focus on differences between the four historical provinces of Ireland, finding that the south of Ireland (the historical centre of butter production) was on average less productive than the north at the start of the period, although this changes after 1913, when Ulster becomes the least productive province. These results present interesting avenues for future work, given the IAOS’ focus on founding creameries in the north of the island.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIrish Economic and Social History
Early online date9 May 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 May 2023


  • Ireland
  • JEL Codes:
  • N53
  • N54
  • Q13
  • creameries
  • productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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