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Agricultural Prices, Selection, and the Evolution of Food Industry


  • Gaigne, Carl
  • Le Mener, Leo


In this paper, we set up a simple model that explains the relation between low input price, high exit rates and industrial oncentration. More precisely, we argue that falling input prices force firms with low productivity to exit and induce expansion of more efficient incumbents at the expense of less productive producers. Our model helps reconcile some well‐established empirical results regarding the food processing industry. Indeed, agricultural prices have been declining between the early 1900s until 2006 while, over the same period, concentration and firm productivity have been increasing in the agri‐food industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Gaigne, Carl & Le Mener, Leo, 2012. "Agricultural Prices, Selection, and the Evolution of Food Industry," Working Papers 125221, Structure and Performance of Agriculture and Agri-products Industry (SPAA).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:spaawp:125221

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mary Amiti & Jozef Konings, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1611-1638, December.
    2. László Halpern & Miklós Koren & Adam Szeidl, 2015. "Imported Inputs and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(12), pages 3660-3703, December.
    3. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Lapham, Beverly, 2013. "Productivity and the decision to import and export: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 297-316.
    4. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Amit Kumar Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2010. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1727-1767.
    5. Chevassus-Lozza, Emmanuelle & Gaigné, Carl & Le Mener, Léo, 2013. "Does input trade liberalization boost downstream firms' exports? Theory and firm-level evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 391-402.
    6. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-670, May.
    7. Eric Bartelsman & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Comparative Analysis of Firm Demographics and Survival: Micro-Level Evidence for the OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 348, OECD Publishing.
    8. Pinelopi Goldberg & Amit Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2009. "Trade Liberalization and New Imported Inputs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 494-500, May.
    9. Boyan Jovanovic & Chung-Yi Tse, 2010. "Entry and Exit Echoes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(3), pages 514-536, July.
    10. Munisamy Gopinath & Terry L. Roe & Mathew D. Shane, 1996. "Competitiveness of U.S. Food Processing: Benefits from Primary Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1044-1055.
    11. Munisamy Gopinath & Daniel Pick & Yonghai Li, 2004. "An empirical analysis of productivity growth and industrial concentration in us manufacturing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 1-7.
    12. Gardner, Bruce L, 1992. "Changing Economic Perspectives on the Farm Problem," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 62-101, March.
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    More about this item


    Input price; Downstream industry; Entry/exit; Industrial concentration; Firm heterogeneity; Agricultural and Food Policy; Industrial Organization; International Relations/Trade; D24; L11; L25; L66;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco

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