Journal Article

Market and Cost Structure in the U.S. Beef Packing Industry: A Plant-Level Analysis

Catherine J. Morrison Paul

in American Journal of Agricultural Economics

Published on behalf of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Volume 83, issue 1, pages 64-76
Published in print February 2001 | ISSN: 0002-9092
Published online February 2001 | e-ISSN: 1467-8276 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0002-9092.00137
Market and Cost Structure in the U.S. Beef Packing Industry: A Plant-Level Analysis

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A resurgence of consolidation in the U.S. meat packing industry in the past few decades has stimulated academic and policy debate. Issues raised include the role of cost economies in driving these patterns, and the effects on the agricultural sector (cattle producers) from market power. Here, plant level cost and revenue data for U.S. beef packing plants are used to estimate a cost-based model incorporating cattle- and output-market pricing behavior. The robust results indicate little market power exploitation in either the cattle input or beef output markets, and that any apparent evidence is counteracted by cost efficiencies such as utilization and scope economies.

Keywords: beef packing industry; cost economies; market power; oligopsony; scope economies; utilization; L110; L660; Q110; Q120

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Manufacturing ; Agricultural Economics ; Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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