Money, Banks and Finance in Economic Thought

Bulgarian economists on the role of cooperative banks in the beginning of 20th century

Marinova Tsvetelina , New Bulgarian University

The paper aims at presenting the major ideas of two Bulgarian economists on the development and role of the cooperative banks after the Liberation from the Ottoman domination (1878) till the WWII. During this period the most prominent theoreticians and practitioners of cooperative credit and cooperatives banks were Angel Daskalov (1854-1936) and Iliya Palazov (1888-1964) who were also taking an active part in their establishment and proliferation in the country. Angel Daskalov was the author of the first comprehensive and in-depth study of the history, mechanism and functioning of the cooperative credit institutions. He considered the establishment of state institutions for cooperative credit as an important prerequisite for the development of agriculture and rural cooperatives by providing inexpensive and easily accessible credits to the poor farmers (Daskalov, 1912). In 1935 Palazov published "Theory and Practice of the Cooperative". That was the most comprehensive study in the Bulgarian literature on cooperative theory, history, practices and policies in leading European countries and in Bulgaria (France, Germany, Russia). The studying of and familiarizing with the ideas of the well-known European theoreticians of cooperatives (Charles Gide, Vahan Totomianz, Mihail Tugan-Baranovsky) brought Palazov closer to their understanding of cooperatives. At the same time, he elaborated his own classification of existing cooperatives in Bulgaria (Palazov, 2005 [1935]). Palazov discussed in depth the nature, history, development and advantages of agricultural credit cooperatives and popular banks which were the first and only financial institutions in Bulgaria that contributed to its economic and social advance in the beginning of the 20th century (Palazov, 1940). Short bibliography In Bulgarian Central State Archive, fonds 1184К, file 1, a.u. 7. Central State Archive, fonds 1184К, file 1, a.u. 65. Central Cooperative Union. (1986). History of Cooperative Movement in Bulgaria, vol. 1, Sofia: Otechestven Front Publisher. Daskalov, A. (1912). Agricultural Credit in Bulgaria from 1864 to 1913, Volume 1, Sofia: Ed. Glushkov. Palazov. I. (2005 [1935]). Theory and Practice of the Cooperative, Filvest Publisher Palazov, I. (1940). Savings and Cooperative, Sofia: Ed. Union of Popular Banks. Palazov, I. (1938). Cooperative Unions. Popular Banks and Their Alliences. Sofia: Ed. Union of Popular Banks.

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Keywords: cooperatives, credit, cooperative banks, Bulgaria

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