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Consolidation In U.S. Meatpacking

Author

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  • MacDonald, James M.
  • Ollinger, Michael
  • Nelson, Kenneth E.
  • Handy, Charles R.

Abstract

Meatpacking consolidated rapidly in the last two decades: slaughter plants became much larger, and concentration increased as smaller firms left the industry. We use establishment-based data from the U.S. Census Bureau to describe consolidation and to identify the roles of scale economies and technological change in driving consolidation. Through the 1970's, larger plants paid higher wages, generating a pecuniary scale diseconomy that largely offset the cost advantages that technological scale economies offered large plants. The larger plants' wage premium disappeared in the 1980's, and technological change created larger and more extensive technological scale economies. As a result, large plants realized growing cost advantages over smaller plants, and production shifted to larger plants.

Suggested Citation

  • MacDonald, James M. & Ollinger, Michael & Nelson, Kenneth E. & Handy, Charles R., 2000. "Consolidation In U.S. Meatpacking," Agricultural Economics Reports 34021, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uerser:34021
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/34021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Huck, Steffen & Knoblauch, Vicki & Muller, Wieland, 2003. "On the profitability of collusion in location games," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 499-510, November.
    2. Steffen Huck & Kai A. Konrad & Wieland Müller, 2004. "Profitable Horizontal Mergers without Cost Advantages: The Role of Internal Organization, Information and Market Structure," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(284), pages 575-587, November.
    3. Ollinger, Michael & Nguyen, Sang V. & Blayney, Donald P. & Chambers, William & Nelson, Kenneth B., 2006. "Food Industry Mergers and Acquisitions Lead to Higher Labor Productivity," Economic Research Report 7246, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. Richard T. Rogers, 2001. "Structural change in U.S. food manufacturing, 1958-1997," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(1), pages 3-32.
    5. Arunas Juska & Lourdes Gouveia & Jackie Gabriel & Kathleen Stanley, 2003. "Manufacturing bacteriological contamination outbreaks in industrialized meat production systems: The case of E. coli O157:H7," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 20(1), pages 3-19, March.
    6. Davis, David E. & Schluter, Gerald E., 2005. "Labor-Force Heterogeneity as a Source of Agglomeration Economies in an Empirical Analysis of County-Level Determinants of Food Plant Entry," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 30(03), December.
    7. John M. Crespi & Richard J. Sexton, 2004. "Bidding for Cattle in the Texas Panhandle," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(3), pages 660-674.
    8. Ward, Clement E., 2002. "A Review of Causes for and Consequences of Economic Concentration in the U.S. Meatpacking Industry," CAFRI: Current Agriculture, Food and Resource Issues, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, issue 03.
    9. Leroux, Nicole & Wortman, Max S., Jr. & Mathias, Eric D., 2001. "Dominant Factors Impacting The Development Of Business-To-Business (B2b) E-Commerce In Agriculture," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 4(02).
    10. Aguero, Jorge M. & Gould, Brian W., 2004. "Structural Change In U.S. Cheese Manufacturing: A Translog Cost Analysis Of A Panel Of Cheese Plants," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20274, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    11. Siebert, John W. & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr. & Thelen, Gina C. & Kuker, Don, 2000. "Enhancing The Financial Performance Of Small Meat Processors," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 3(03).
    12. Lee, Chinkook & Schluter, Gerald E., 2001. "Consolidation, Economies Of Scale, And The Heckshcer-Ohlin Theory Of Trade - An Empirical Analysis Of Us Meat Processing Industry," International Trade in Livestock Products Symposium, January 18-19, 2001, Auckland, New Zealand 14559, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    13. Ollinger, Michael & Nguyen, Sang V. & Blayney, Donald P. & Chambers, William & Nelson, Kenneth B., 2005. "Structural Change in the Meat, Poultry, Dairy and Grain Processing Industries," Economic Research Report 7217, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    14. Brester, Gary W. & Marsh, John M., 2001. "The Effects Of U.S. Meat Packing And Livestock Production Technologies On Marketing Margins And Prices," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 26(02), December.
    15. Ollinger, Michael & Ralston, Katherine L. & Guthrie, Joanne F., 2011. "School Breakfast and Lunch Costs: Are There Economies of Scale?," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103191, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    16. Devadoss, Stephen, 2007. "Market power in input purchase and trade," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 478-487.
    17. Hegde, S. Aaron, 2004. "An Economic History Of The Failure Of Broiler Futures," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20397, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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