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The new U.S. meat industry

Listed author(s):
  • Alan Barkema
  • Mark Drabenstott
  • Nancy Novack
Registered author(s):

    A new meat industry is rapidly emerging in the United States, as food retailers, meat processors, and farms and ranches coalesce into fewer and larger businesses. The industry’s rapid consolidation in recent years has triggered alarms that the industry’s new giants in retailing and processing could drive up food prices for consumers and drive down livestock prices for producers. How should public policy respond to the industry’s consolidation? And how can all participants in the industry—producers, processors, retailers, and consumers—benefit from its new structure?> Barkema, Drabenstott, and Novack examine the striking changes in the meat industry. First, they describe how the industry is changing. Then they examine the forces driving the industry’s consolidation. Finally, they consider how consumers and industry participants are affected. While current evidence is scant that market power has hurt either consumers or producers, the industry’s rapid consolidation nevertheless warrants vigilance. At the same time, public policy might also play a role in ensuring that all participants in the market benefit from its new structure.

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    File URL: http://www.kansascityfed.org/PUBLICAT/ECONREV/PDF/2q01bark.pdf
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    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its journal Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): (2001)
    Issue (Month): Q II ()
    Pages: 33-56

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:2001:i:qii:p:33-56:n:v.86no.2
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    1. Koontz, Stephen R. & Garcia, Philip, 1997. "Meat-Packer Conduct In Fed Cattle Pricing: Multiple-Market Oligopsony Power," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 22(01), July.
    2. Mary K. Muth & Michael K. Wohlgenant, 1999. "A Test for Market Power Using Marginal Input and Output Prices With Application to the U.S. Beef Processing Industry," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(3), pages 638-643.
    3. Ollinger, Michael & MacDonald, James, 2000. "Poultry Plants Lowering Production Costs and Increasing Variety," Food Review: The Magazine of Food Economics, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, vol. 23(2).
    4. Cotterill, Ronald W, 1986. "Market Power in the Retail Food Industry: Evidence from Vermont," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(3), pages 379-386, August.
    5. Azzam, Azzeddine M, 1997. "Measuring Market Power and Cost-Efficiency Effects of Industrial Concentration," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 377-386, December.
    6. Alan Barkema, 1993. "Reaching Consumers in the Twenty-First Century: The Short Way Around the Barn," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1126-1131.
    7. Larson, Ronald B., 1997. "Key Developments In The Food Distribution System," Working Papers 14350, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
    8. Richard J. Sexton, 2000. "Industrialization and Consolidation in the U.S. Food Sector: Implications for Competition and Welfare," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1087-1104.
    9. Carlson, Andrea & Kinsey, Jean D. & Nadav, Carmel, 1998. "Who Eats What, When, And From Where?," Working Papers 14312, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
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