IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Pass-Through in United States Beef Cattle Prices


  • Huan Zhao
  • Xiaodong Du
  • David A. Hennessy


Feeder cattle are fattened to become fed live cattle six months later. The U.S. feeder cattle industry is intensively competitive, so that market efficiency suggests feeder cattle prices should fully reflect feed prices and information on future fed cattle prices. Employing a long time series (1979-2004) of feeder cattle futures, live cattle futures, and local corn prices, we test whether complete pass-through occurs. The results indicate that an increase of a dollar per hundred pounds in the live cattle price leads to an increase of approximately $1.48 per hundred pounds in the feeder cattle price in one month, about 93% of complete pass-through. The corresponding negative effect of a corn price increase is about 87% of complete pass-through. By contrast with agricultural land markets, the results support the hypothesis of Ricardian rent extraction by the scarce asset owner in feeder cattle markets. The results also provide evidence in favor of informational efficiency in futures markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Huan Zhao & Xiaodong Du & David A. Hennessy, 2009. "Pass-Through in United States Beef Cattle Prices," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 09-wp494, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:09-wp494

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full Text
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    File Function: Online Synopsis
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simla Tokgoz & Amani Elobeid & Jacinto F. Fabiosa & Dermot J. Hayes & Bruce A. Babcock & Tun-Hsiang (Edward) Yu & Fengxia Dong & Chad E. Hart & John C. Beghin, 2007. "Emerging Biofuels: Outlook of Effects on U.S. Grain, Oilseed, and Livestock Markets," Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) Publications 07-sr101, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at Iowa State University.
    2. Jerome Dumortier & Dermot J. Hayes, 2009. "Towards an Integrated Global Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Model: Greenhouse Gases from Agriculture Simulation Model (GreenAgSiM)," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 09-wp490, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    feeder cattle; futures market efficiency; live cattle; structural change.;

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:09-wp494. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.