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Scale Economies and Consolidation in Hog Slaughter


  • James M MacDonald
  • Michael E Ollinger


We use establishment based panel data to estimate a cost function which identifies the role of scale economies in hog slaughter consolidation. We find modest by extensive technological scale economies in the 1990s, and they became more important over time. But wages rose sharply with plant size through the 1970s and those wage premiums generated a pecuniary scale diseconomy that largely offset the effects of technological scale economies. The size-wage relation disappeared in the 1980; with growing technological scale economies and disappearing pecuniary diseconomies, large plants realized growing cost advantages over smaller plants, and production shifted to larger plants.

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  • James M MacDonald & Michael E Ollinger, 2000. "Scale Economies and Consolidation in Hog Slaughter," Working Papers 00-03, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:00-03

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    2. Marvin L. Hayenga, 1998. "Cost Structures of Pork Slaughter and Processing Firms: Behavioral and Performance Implications," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 20(2), pages 574-583.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Philippe Gervais & Olivier Bonroy & Steve Couture, 2008. "A province-level analysis of economies of scale in Canadian food processing," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 538-556.
    2. Ollinger, Michael, 2009. "The Cost of Food Safety Technologies in the Meat and Poultry Industries," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 48783, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. MacDonald, James M., 2011. "Why Are Farms Getting Larger? The Case Of The U.S," 51st Annual Conference, Halle, Germany, September 28-30, 2011 115361, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    4. Jean-Philippe Gervais, 2011. "Disentangling nonlinearities in the long- and short-run price relationships: an application to the US hog/pork supply chain," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(12), pages 1497-1510.
    5. Poray, Michael C. & Gray, Allan W. & Boehlje, Michael & Preckel, Paul V., 2003. "Evaluation of Alternative Coordination Systems Between Producers and Packers in the Pork Value Chain," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 6(02).
    6. Philip L. Paarlberg & Mildred M. Haley, 2001. "Market concentration and vertical coordination in the pork industry: Implications for public policy analysis," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 197-212.
    7. Gervais, Jean-Philippe & Schroeder, Ted C., 2005. "Structural Implications of Persistent Disharmony in North American Beef and Pork Industries," North American Agrifood Market Integration Workshop II: Agrifood Regulatory and Policy Integration under Stress, May 2005, San Antonio, Texas 17998, Farm Foundation.
    8. Ollinger, Michael & Moore, Danna & Chandran, Ram, 2004. "Meat and Poultry Plants' Food Safety Investments : Survey Findings," Technical Bulletins 184316, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    9. 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.
    10. Susanto, Dwi & Zapata, Hector O. & Cramer, Gail L., 2004. "Bootstrapping In Vector Autoregressions: An Application To The Pork Sector," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20051, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    11. 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).
    12. Kim, C.S. & McElroy, Robert G. & Mishra, Ashok K. & Hallahan, Charles B., 2002. "Biased Biased Technological Progress In The U.S. Farm Sector: A Structural Perspective," 2002 Annual Meeting, July 28-31, 2002, Long Beach, California 36526, Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    13. 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.
    14. Michael G. Hogberg & Kellie Curry Raper & James F. Oehmke, 2009. "Banning subtherapeutic antibiotics in U.S. swine production: a simulation of impacts on industry structure," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 314-330.
    15. Ollinger, Michael & Mueller, Valerie, 2003. "Managing For Safer Food: The Economics Of Sanitation And Process Controls In Meat And Poultry Plants," Agricultural Economics Reports 33975, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    16. Vollrath, Thomas L., 2003. "North American Agricultural Market Integration And Its Impact On The Food And Fiber System," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33639, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    17. Christian Genthon, 2007. "Can we measure Microsoft's market power ?," Post-Print halshs-00153837, HAL.
    18. MacDonald, James M., 2002. "Agribusiness Concentration, Competition And Nafta," Structural Change as a Source of Trade Disputes Under NAFTA; Proceedings of the 7th Agricultural and Food Policy Systems Information Workshop - 2001 16883, Farm Foundation, Agricultural and Food Policy Systems Information Workshops.
    19. B. Brorsen & Taeyoon Kim, 2013. "Data aggregation in stochastic frontier models: the closed skew normal distribution," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 27-34, February.
    20. Gervais, Jean-Philippe & Bonroy, Olivier & Couture, Steve, 2006. "Economies of Scale in the Canadian Food Processing Industry," MPRA Paper 64, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Schluter, Gerald E. & Lee, Chinkook, 2004. "Is There a Link between the Changing Skills of Labor Used in U.S. Processed Food Trade and Rural Employment?," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(03), December.
    22. Ollinger, Michael & Ralston, Katherine L. & Guthrie, Joanne F., 2012. "Location, School Characteristics, and the Cost of School Meals," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(3), December.

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