The development of local public enterprises in Germany from 1871/72 to 1913/14.

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Kwack, Tae-Yel
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    The systematic expansion of local public enterprises started in the mid of the 19th century. The focus of these enterprises was the utility industry (the population’s supply with water, gas, and electricity), the transportation (passanger transport), the lending business (banks supported publicly by the commune or district), the health care system and the housing industry. The local enterprises worked as the municipalities’ instruments, fulfilling during the 19th century mainly social, distributional, and fiscal responsibilities. The investigator deals in his study with the following topics: 1. How can the development of the local public enterprises, i.e. the development of scope and structure of their services, be characterized empirically? 2. What conditions have shaped this development? This question relates to the analysis of the development of municipalities and the motives of the municipalization. The investigation is limited to the years 1871/72 to 1913/14, because most of the municipalization-process occurred in the industrialization phase at that period. First, the attempt is made to provide an overview of the general development of the local public enterprises or the so called “German municipal socialism”. The municipalization-process and the extent of the local public companies’ economic activities are shown by the investigator by means of the development of individual local public companies as overview for the German Empire (gasworks, water works, electric power stations, street railways). Then, the companies’ efficiency in 54 cities with over 50,000 inhabitants is examined. Starting point of this analysis are the results of the statistical yearbooks of German cities from 1890 to 1912 and surveys on wages and working hours for 1902 and 1907 of the Imperial Statistical Office. Based on these data, the extent of the financial and social conditions of the local public companies and their development in a given period can be described (extent of investments and financing; pricing policy of the local public enterprises; benefits in terms of fiscal policy; benefits in terms of social policy; financial structure and it’s redistributive effects). In order to review the fiscal efficiency of local public companies, the municipal taxes and municipal dept of each city as an appraisal criterion are collected. Furthermore, to review the benefits of the social policy, the companies’ in-house benefits are used as criteria. The determined surplus revenues (net and gross surpluses), local taxes and municipal debt, are listed per head of population, so that they can be seen in their systematic connection and that therefore a meaningful comparison between the analyzed cities in possible. In chapter VII the comparison of Bochum and Munster in the province Westphalia examines the question to what extent there are deviations of the public companies’ development in individual municipalities from the general development trends of the German state. The cities Bochum and Munster were chosen for this comparison, because both exemplify a special type urban development, Bochum as a heavy industrial city, and Munster as an administrative city. Thus, the question must be asked how the economic structure of a city has shaped the development of their local companies. First, the typological features of the towns are related to their social structures, their structures of population and of economy. These features are the basis of a municipality’s policy. Using this typology of cities, the investigator examined how the structural features of a city be reflected in local policies. The main objective of this case study is to analyze whether there is a relationship between the typology of cities and the development of local public companies (or rather the success of local public companies) and if this relation could be explained. Datatables in the search- and downloadsystem HISTAT (topic: Statistics of towns (= Städtestatistik) ): Thematical subdivision of the study’s datatables: A. Entwicklung der Kommunalunternehmen im Deutschen Reich (1849 – 1913). (= Development of local public companies in the German Empire) B. Fallstudie: Die Städte Bochum und Münster (1870-1913). (= Case study: the towns Bochum and Munster) C. Datentabellen mit statistischen Angaben für 54 Städte mit über 50.000 Einwohnern (1889 – 1912). (= Data tables with statistical information on 54 towns with about 50 000 inhabitants and more)
Temporal Coverage
  • 1871 / 1914
Geographic Coverage
  • German Reich (1871-1945) (DXDE)
Sampled Universe
First, selected data on the level of the German Empire: The development process of local public companies (1849 to 1913). Second: Case study: Province Westphalia; the towns Bochum and Muenster, 1870 to 1913. Third: municipal data on 54 towns with 50000 inhabitants and more since 1890 (1889 to 1912).
Collection Mode
  • Sources: Statistical yearbook on German towns (since 1890; the data on towns with 50000 inhabitans and more are collected). Town’s archives of Munster and Bochum; The municipal authorities’ yearly administration reports; The tow towns’ budget; Budgets and monthly reports of the water- and gasworks as well as of the electricity power stations; Selected data of the research-literature; Gathering statistics on salaries and working hours for 1902 and 1907, processed from the Imperial Statistical Office.
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Text Unit
    Number of Units: 44
    Number of Variables: 1114
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8435 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Kwack, Tae-Yel, 1990: Die Entwicklung von Kommunalunternehmen in Deutschland im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert. Münster: Lit Verlag. Zugl. Diss. an der Westfälischen Wilhelms - Universität Münster 1989.

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 85 | Registration Date: 2011-03-15