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Local Monopsony Power in the Market for Broilers - Evidence from a Farm Survey


  • Key, Nigel D.
  • MacDonald, James M.


The exercise of monopsony power by broiler processing firms is plausible because production occurs within localized complexes, which limits the number of integrators with whom growers can contract. In addition, growers face distinct hold-up risks as broiler production requires a substantial investment in specific assets and most production contracts do not involve long-term purchasing commitments by integrators. This paper provides an initial exploration of the links between the local concentration of broiler integrators and grower compensation under production contracts using data from the 2006 broiler version of USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey. Results of this preliminary study, which accounts for characteristics of the operation and specific features of the production contract, suggest a small but economically meaningful effect of concentration on grower concentration. Limitations of the current analysis and future possible model extensions are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Key, Nigel D. & MacDonald, James M., 2008. "Local Monopsony Power in the Market for Broilers - Evidence from a Farm Survey," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6073, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea08:6073

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tomislav Vukina & Porametr Leegomonchai, 2006. "Oligopsony Power, Asset Specificity, and Hold-Up: Evidence from the Broiler Industry," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(3), pages 589-605.
    2. Muth, Mary K. & Wohlgenant, Michael K., 1999. "Measuring The Degree Of Oligopsony Power In The Beef Packing Industry In The Absence Of Marketing Input Quantity Data," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 24(02), December.
    3. James M. MacDonald & Charles R. Handy & Gerald E. Plato, 2002. "Competition and Prices in USDA Commodity Procurement," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 128-143, July.
    4. Catherine J. Morrison Paul, 2001. "Cost Economies And Market Power: The Case Of The U.S. Meat Packing Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 531-540, 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. Azzeddine Azzam, 1998. "Captive Supplies, Market Conduct, and the Open-Market Price," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 76-83.
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    Cited by:

    1. Liang, Jing, 2010. "Three essays on food safety and foodborne illness," ISU General Staff Papers 201001010800002782, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    poultry; broilers; market power; monopsony; production contracts; Livestock Production/Industries; Marketing;

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