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The Rise of the Chicago Packers and the Origins of Meat Inspection and Antitrust

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  • Gary D. Libecap

Abstract

The Meat Inspection Act of 1891 and the Sherman Act of 1890 are shown to be closely tied. This link makes clearer Congress' intent in enacting the legislation. Both laws were products of conditions in the economy after 1880, and they reflected in part, a common concern about the Chicago packers, or Beef trust. The concerns of local slaughterhouses, which were being displaced by new, low-cost refrigerated beef, and of farmers, who sold their livestock to the large Chicago packers, were echoed elsewhere by other small businesses and farmers, who feared for their competitive positions during a time of structural change in the economy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Historical Working Papers with number 0029.

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Date of creation: Sep 1991
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Publication status: published as Economic Inquiry, Vol. 30 (1992): 242-262.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0029

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Cited by:
  1. Sukkoo Kim, 2001. "Markets and Multiunit Firms from an American Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 8232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Michelle Worosz & Andrew Knight & Craig Harris, 2008. "Resilience in the US red meat industry: the roles of food safety policy," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 187-191, June.
  3. Andrei Shleifer & Simeon Djankov & Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez de Silanes, 2003. "The New Comparative Economics," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm355, Yale School of Management.
  4. Armelle Mazé & Claude Ménard, 2010. "Private ordering, collective action, and the self-enforcing range of contracts," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 131-153, February.
  5. Maze, Armelle, 2006. "Multilateral reputation mechanisms and contract law in agriculture : complement or substitutes," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21285, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  6. Stewart, James I., 2006. "Migration to the agricultural frontier and wealth accumulation, 1860-1870," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 547-577, October.
  7. William Shughart & Fred McChesney, 2010. "Public choice theory and antitrust policy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 142(3), pages 385-406, March.
  8. Zeynep Hansen & Marc T. Law, 2006. "The Political Economy of "Truth-in-Advertising" Regulation During the Progressive Era," NBER Working Papers 11927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Marc Law & Gary D. Libecap, 2006. "The Determinants of Progressive Era Reform. The Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906," NBER Chapters, in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 319-342 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00624288 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Ollinger, Michael & Mueller, Valerie, 2003. "Managing For Safer Food: The Economics Of Sanitation And Process Controls In Meat And Poultry Plants," Agricultural Economics Reports 33975, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  12. Steiner, Bodo, 2006. "Governance Reform of German food safety regulation: Cosmetic or real?," MPRA Paper 26252, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Ferrier, Peyton & Lamb, Russell, 2007. "Government regulation and quality in the US beef market," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 84-97, February.
  14. 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.
  15. Narrod, Clare A. & Malcolm, Scott A. & Ollinger, Michael & Roberts, Tanya, 1999. "Pathogen Reduction Options In Slaughterhouses And Methods For Evaluating Their Economic Effectiveness," 1999 Annual meeting, August 8-11, Nashville, TN 21562, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  16. Azzam, Azzeddine M., 1998. "Competition in the US meatpacking industry: is it history?," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 107-126, March.
  17. Stephen Martin, 2005. "U.S. Antitrust and EU Competition Policy: Where has the Former Been, Where is the Latter Going?," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 27, Departamento de Economia, Gestão e Engenharia Industrial, Universidade de Aveiro.

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