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The Diffusion of Livestock Breeding Technology in the U.S.: Observations on the Relationship Between Technical Change and Industry Structure


  • Johnson, Nancy L.
  • Ruttan, Vernon W.


The goal of this paper is to better understand how technological change has contributed to structural change in the U.S. livestock industry. The paper presents a cross-sector analysis of the diffusion of improved breeding technologies and industry structure in poultry, swine, dairy and beef cattle. Patterns of technological change are reviewed and compared to the predictions of a standard model of technology diffusion. The results suggest the need for a more dynamic view of technology diffusion. The paper offers several specific observations about technological and structural change in this industry that have relevance for public policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnson, Nancy L. & Ruttan, Vernon W., 1997. "The Diffusion of Livestock Breeding Technology in the U.S.: Observations on the Relationship Between Technical Change and Industry Structure," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, vol. 15(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jloagb:90402

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    Cited by:

    1. Bryngelsson, David & Wirsenius, Stefan & Hedenus, Fredrik & Sonesson, Ulf, 2016. "How can the EU climate targets be met? A combined analysis of technological and demand-side changes in food and agriculture," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 152-164.
    2. Gillespie, Jeffrey & Qushim, Berdikul & Nyaupane, Narayan & McMillin, Kenneth, 2015. "Breeding Technologies in U.S. Meat Goat Production: Who Are the Adopters and How Does Adoption Impact Productivity?," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 44(3), December.
    3. Pardey, Philip G. & Alston, Julian M. & Ruttan, Vernon W., 2010. "The Economics of Innovation and Technical Change in Agriculture," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.


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