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Agricultural Contracting and the Scale of Production

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Author Info

  • Key, Nigel D.

Abstract

This study presents evidence that contracting is positively associated with the scale of production for six major U.S. agricultural commodities. Specifically, contract producers tend to operate at a larger scale than do independent producers, and the likelihood of an operation contracting increases with its scale. This relationship is strongest in the cattle and hog sectors, where it persists even among large commercial operations. Six theoretical explanations for the observed correlation between scale and contracting are proposed, including imperfect capital markets, contractor transaction costs, input leverage, grower risk aversion, asset specificity, and technological change. Information from five annual national surveys is used to examine the validity of three of the proposed mechanisms.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/31273
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association in its journal Agricultural and Resource Economics Review.

Volume (Year): 33 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ags:arerjl:31273

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Web page: http://www.narea.org/
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Related research

Keywords: Production Economics;

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Cited by:
  1. Franken, Jason R.V. & Pennings, Joost M.E. & Garcia, Philip, 2008. "Do Transaction Costs and Risk Preferences Influence Marketing Arrangements in the Illinois Hog Industry?," 2008 Conference, April 21-22, 2008, St. Louis, Missouri 37599, NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
  2. MacDonald, James M. & Korb, Penelope J., 2011. "Agricultural Contracting Update: Contracts in 2008," Economic Information Bulletin 101279, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  3. Katchova, Ani L., 2013. "Agricultural Contracting and Agrifood Competition," Staff Papers 164515, University of Kentucky, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  4. Volpe, Richard J., III, 2006. "Exploring the Potential Effects of Organic Production on Contracting in American Agribusiness," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21086, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Reise, Christian & Liebe, Ulf & Musshoff, Oliver, 2012. "Design of substrate supply contracts for biogas plants," 2012 Conference (56th), February 7-10, 2012, Freemantle, Australia 124428, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  6. Key, Nigel D. & McBride, William D., 2008. "Do Production Contracts Raise Farm Productivity? An Instrumental Variables Approach," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 37(2), October.

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