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Slaughterhouse Rules: Animal Uniformity and Regulating for Food Safety in Meat Packing

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  • Hennessy, David A.

Abstract

Meat retailers express demand for a more uniform product, and technical innovations are allowing an increasingly uniform supply. Packers can promote uniformity through pre-slaughter sorting, or earlier through contracts. Emphasizing effort on the packing line, we develop a model whereby packers gain from carcass handling efficiencies when animal uniformity increases. Whether optimally regulated or not, equilibrium food safety declines with increased uniformity. A line speed regulation can increase welfare in the presence of food safety externalities by reducing the opportunity cost of allocating effort toward promoting food safety. The regulation also reduces packer demand for more uniform animals.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 10839.

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Date of creation: 29 Oct 2003
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Publication status: Published in American Journal of Agricultural Economics, August 2005, vol. 87 no. 3, pp. 600-609
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:10839

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Garen, John, 1988. "Compensating Wage Differentials and the Endogeneity of Job Riskiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 9-16, February.
  2. Hennessy, David A. & Miranowski, John & Babcock, Bruce A., 2003. "Genetic Information in Agricultural Productivity and Product Development," Staff General Research Papers 10340, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Robert Innes, 1999. "Self-Policing and Optimal Law Enforcement When Violator Remediation is Valuable," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1305-1325, December.
  4. Jayson L. Lusk & John A. Fox & Ted C. Schroeder & James Mintert & Mohammad Koohmaraie, 2001. "In-Store Valuation of Steak Tenderness," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 539-550.
  5. Boehlje, Michael, 1996. "Industrialization of Agriculture: What are the Implications?," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 11(1).
  6. Bennett, Richard & Blaney, Ralph, 2002. "Social consensus, moral intensity and willingness to pay to address a farm animal welfare issue," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 501-520, August.
  7. Boland, Philip J. & Proschan, Frank, 1988. "Multivariate arrangement increasing functions with applications in probability and statistics," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 286-298, May.
  8. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
  9. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, . "The LeChatelier Principle," Working Papers 95007, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Link, David J. & Almas, Lal K. & Brown, Michael S. & Lawrence, Ty E., 2011. "The Beneficial Impact of Sorting Heavy Cattle at Re-Implant," 2011 Annual Meeting, February 5-8, 2011, Corpus Christi, Texas 98732, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  2. Diana Stuart & Michelle Worosz, 2012. "Risk, anti-reflexivity, and ethical neutralization in industrial food processing," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 287-301, September.

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