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Grader Bias in Cattle Markets? Evidence from Iowa

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  • Hueth, Brent
  • Marcoul, Philippe
  • Lawrence, John D.

Abstract

Participants in U.S. markets for live cattle increasingly rely on federal grading standards to price slaughtered animals. This change is due to the growing prominence of モgridヤ pricing mechanisms that specify explicit premiums and discounts contingent on an animal's graded quality class. Although there have been recent changes in the way cattle are priced, the technology for sorting animals into quality classes has changed very little: human graders visually inspect each slaughtered carcass and call a モqualityヤ and モyieldヤgrade in a matter of seconds as the carcass passes on a moving trolley. There is anecdotal evidence of systematic bias in these called grades across time and regions within U.S. markets, and this paper empirically examines whether such claim is supported in a sample of loads delivered to three different Iowa packing plants during the years 2000-02. Keywords: cattle markets, grader bias, quality measurement.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 11465.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2007
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Publication status: Published in American Journal of Agricultural Economics, November 2007, vol. 89 no. 4, pp. 890-903
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:11465

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Hennessy, David A., 1998. "Microeconomics of Agricultural Grading: Impacts on the Marketing Channel," Staff General Research Papers 1703, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Stéphan Marette & John Crespi, 2003. "Can Quality Certification Lead to Stable Cartels?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 43-64, August.
  3. Chalfant, James A. & James, Jennifer S. & Lavoie, Nathalie & Sexton, Richard J., 1999. "Asymmetric Grading Error And Adverse Selection: Lemons In The California Prune Industry," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 24(01), July.
  4. Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Canice Prendergast, 2001. "Favoritism Under Social Pressure," Working Papers 2001-16, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Diaz, Edgar F. Pebe & Brorsen, B. Wade & Anderson, Kim B. & Richter, Francisca G.-C. & Kenkel, Philip L., 2002. "The Effect Of Rounding On The Probability Distribution Of Regrading In The U.S. Peanut Industry," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, vol. 20(1).
  6. Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-33, March.
  7. Hueth, Brent & Lawrence, John D., 2006. "Information Transmission in Cattle Markets: A Case Study of the Chariton Valley Beef Alliance," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, vol. 24(1).
  8. Hueth, Brent & Lawrence, John D., 2006. "Information Transmission in Cattle Markets: A Case Study of the Chariton Valley Beef Alliance," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, vol. 24(1).
  9. Freebairn, John W., 1973. "The Value Of Information Provided By A Uniform Grading System," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 17(02), August.
  10. Sylvette Monier-Dilhan & Hervé Ossard, 1999. "Pleasures of Cockaigne: Quality Gaps, Market Structure, and the Amount of Grading," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(3), pages 501-511.
  11. Bruce Gardner, 2003. "U.S. Food Quality Standards: Fix for Market Failure or Costly Anachronism?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(3), pages 725-730.
  12. Espinosa, Juan Andres & Goodwin, Barry K., 1991. "Hedonic Price Estimation For Kansas Wheat Characteristics," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 16(01), July.
  13. James A. Chalfant & Richard J. Sexton, 2002. "Marketing Orders, Grading Errors, and Price Discrimination," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(1), pages 53-66.
  14. McDonald, R. Allen & Schroeder, Ted C., 2003. "Fed Cattle Profit Determinants Under Grid Pricing," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 35(01), April.
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Cited by:
  1. Ibarburu, Maro A. & Lawrence, John D. & Busby, Darrell, 2007. "Economics of Increased Beef Grader Accuracy," 2007 Conference, April 16-17, 2007, Chicago, Illinois 37558, NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
  2. Ferrier, Peyton & Liu, Qihong, 2010. "Consumer sorting of vertically differentiated goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 11-13, October.

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