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Cost Economies And Market Power: The Case Of The U.S. Meat Packing Industry

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  • Catherine J. Morrison Paul

Abstract

Increasing size of establishments and resulting concentration in U.S. industries may stem from various types of cost economies. In particular, scale economies arising from technological factors embodied in plant and equipment may be a driving force for such market structure changes. In this case, typical market power measures like Lerner indices can be misleading: if scale (cost) economies prevail, cost efficiencies rather than market deficiencies may actually underlie the observed patterns. In this study, I provide measures of scale economies and market power for the U.S. meat packing industry, whose increased consolidation and concentration have raised great concern in policy circles. The results suggest that this trend has been motivated by cost economies, but that little excess profitability exists, and on the margin the potential for taking further advantage of such economies has become minimal. © 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 83 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 531-540

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:83:y:2001:i:3:p:531-540

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Cited by:
  1. Rigoberto A. Lopez & Azzeddine M. Azzam & Carmen Liron-Espana, 2001. "Market Power and/or Efficiency: An Application to U.S. Food Processing," Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports 060, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
  2. Gervais, Jean-Philippe & Bonroy, Olivier & Couture, Steve, 2006. "Economies of Scale in the Canadian Food Processing Industry," MPRA Paper 64, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Crespi, John M. & Xia, Tian & Jones, Rodney D., 2008. "Competition, Bargaining Power, and the Cattle Cycle," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6263, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  4. Goldsmith, Peter D. & Turan, Nesve A. & Gow, Hamish R., 2004. "Firms, Incentives, And The Supply Of Food Safety: A Formal Model Of Government Enforcement," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20343, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Jean-Philippe Gervais & Olivier Bonroy & Steve Couture, 2008. "A province-level analysis of economies of scale in Canadian food processing," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 538-556.
  6. Key, Nigel D. & MacDonald, James M., 2008. "Local Monopsony Power in the Market for Broilers - Evidence from a Farm Survey," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6073, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  7. Gopinath, Munisamy & Pick, Daniel H. & Li, Yonghai, 2002. "Does Industrial Concentration Raise Productivity In Food Industries?," 2002 Annual Meeting, July 28-31, 2002, Long Beach, California 36634, Western Agricultural Economics Association.
  8. Chevassus-Lozza, Emmanuelle & Gaigné, Carl & Le Mener, Léo, 2013. "Does input trade liberalization boost downstream firms' exports? Theory and firm-level evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 391-402.
  9. Guci, Ledia & Brown, Mark G., 2007. "Changes in the Structure of the Florida Processed Orange Industry and Potential Impacts on Competition," Research Papers 2007 36811, Florida Department of Citrus.
  10. Gervais, Jean-Philippe & Schroeder, Ted C., 2005. "Structural Implications of Persistent Disharmony in North American Beef and Pork Industries," North American Agrifood Market Integration Workshop II: Agrifood Regulatory and Policy Integration under Stress, May 2005, San Antonio, Texas 17998, Farm Foundation.
  11. Rigoberto Lopez & Azzeddine Azzam & Carmen Lirón-España, 2002. "Market Power and/or Efficiency: A Structural Approach," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 115-126, March.
  12. Asche, Frank & Nøstbakken, Linda & Tveterås, Sigbjørn, 2009. "When will trade restrictions affect producer behavior: Oligopsony power in international trade," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2009/20, University of Stavanger.
  13. Pinar Celikkol & Spiro Stefanou, 2004. "Productivity Growth Patterns in U.S. Food Manufacturing: Case of Meat Products Industry," Working Papers 04-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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