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Technological Change and Economies of Scale in U.S. Poultry Slaughter


  • Milton Madison
  • James MacDonald
  • Michael Ollinger


This paper uses a unique data set provided by the Census Bureau to empirically examine technological change and economies of scale in the chicken and turkey slaughter industries. Results reveal substantial scale economies that show no evidence of diminishing with plant size and that are much greater than those realized in cattle and hog slaughter. Additionally, it is shown that controlling for plant product mix is critical to cost estimation and animal inputs are much more elastic to prices than in either cattle or hogs. Results suggest that consolidation is likely to continue, particularly if demand growth diminishes.

Suggested Citation

  • Milton Madison & James MacDonald & Michael Ollinger, 2000. "Technological Change and Economies of Scale in U.S. Poultry Slaughter," Working Papers 00-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:00-05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Allen, W Bruce & Liu, Dong, 1995. "Service Quality and Motor Carrier Costs: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 499-510, August.
    2. Baumol, William J, 1982. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 1-15, March.
    3. Gallant, A. Ronald & Jorgenson, Dale W., 1979. "Statistical inference for a system of simultaneous, non-linear, implicit equations in the context of instrumental variable estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2-3), pages 275-302.
    4. Stevenson, Rodney, 1980. "Measuring Technological Bias," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(1), pages 162-173, March.
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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. Artz, Georgeanne M. & Jackson, Rebecca & Orazem, Peter F., 2010. "Is It a Jungle Out There? Meat Packing, Immigrants, and Rural Communities," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 35(2), August.
    4. MacDonald, James M. & Korb, Penelope J., 2006. "Duration in Production Contracts," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21112, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    5. Tengying Weng & Tomislav Vukina & Xiaoyong Zheng, 2015. "The Effects of Productvity and Demand-Specific Factors on Plant Survival and Ownership Change in the U.S. Poultry Industry," Working Papers 15-20, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. Nguyen, Duong T.M. & McLaren, Keith Robert & Zhao, Xueyan, 2008. "Multi-Output Broadacre Agricultural Production: Estimating A Cost Function Using Quasi-Micro Farm Level Data From Australia," 2008 Conference (52nd), February 5-8, 2008, Canberra, Australia 6009, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    7. Lambert, Remy, 2012. "A Primer on the Economics of Supply Management and Food Supply Chains," Working Papers 125246, Structure and Performance of Agriculture and Agri-products Industry (SPAA).
    8. 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.
    9. 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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    CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;


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