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