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Vertical Integration in the Pork Industry


  • Jeffrey J. Reimer


This article provides an economic explanation regarding why the share of U.S. pork raised on company-owned farms with hired management (integration) is increasing relative to production through independently owned-and-operated contract growers (contracting). The article develops a property rights model that shows how in certain circumstances production contracts do not transfer sufficient control over the use of production assets to intermediaries. On the other hand, integration removes certain grower incentives, with the result that production on company farms tends to be relatively costly. Practical examples of factors that influence the likelihood of full integration are emphasized. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey J. Reimer, 2006. "Vertical Integration in the Pork Industry," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(1), pages 234-248.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:88:y:2006:i:1:p:234-248

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Alfonso Flores‐Lagunes & Kurt Erik Schnier, 2012. "Estimation of sample selection models with spatial dependence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 173-204, March.
    9. Oates, Wallace E. & Schwab, Robert M., 1997. "The Impact of Urban Land Taxation: The Pittsburgh Experience," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(1), pages 1-21, March.
    10. Plassmann, Florenz & Tideman, T. Nicolaus, 2000. "A Markov Chain Monte Carlo Analysis of the Effect of Two-Rate Property Taxes on Construction," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 216-247, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Traversac, Jean-Baptiste & Rousset, Sylvain & Perrier-Cornet, Philippe, 2011. "Farm resources, transaction costs and forward integration in agriculture: Evidence from French wine producers," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 839-847.
    2. Michael Ollinger & Danna Moore, 2009. "The Direct and Indirect Costs of Food-Safety Regulation," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 31(2), pages 247-265, June.
    3. Hu, Y. & Hendrikse, G.W.J., 2007. "Allocation of Decision Rights in Fruit and Vegetable Contracts in China," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2007-077-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    4. Du, Ying & Stiegert, Kyle W., 2009. "Strategic Vertical Pricing in the U.S. Butter Market," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 51712, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Kostas Karantininis & Jesper T. Graversen, 2008. "Relational contracts and adaptation: application to a pork producer contract," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(3), pages 342-354.
    6. Reimer Jeffrey J, 2008. "Search Costs in Identity-Preserved Agricultural Markets," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, October.
    7. Franken, Jason R.V. & Pennings, Joost M.E. & Garcia, Philip, 2009. "Do Transaction Costs and Risk Preferences Influence Marketing Arrangements in the Illinois Hog Industry?," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 34(2), August.
    8. Berardi, Nicoletta & Seabright, Paul, 2010. "Joint Ventures as a Commitment Device Against Lobbies," CEPR Discussion Papers 7714, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Hueth, Brent & Ligon, Ethan & Dimitri, Carolyn, 2007. "AJAE Appendix: Agricultural Contracts: Data and Research Needs," American Journal of Agricultural Economics Appendices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(5), December.
    10. Franken, Jason R.V. & Parcell, Joseph L. & Patterson, David J. & Smith, Michael F. & Poock, Scott, . "Cow-Calf Producer Interest in Retained Ownership," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia.
    11. Ollinger, Michael & Moore, Danna L., 2009. "The Interplay of Regulation and Marketing Incentives in Providing Food Safety," Economic Research Report 55837, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

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