Is It a Jungle Out There?: Meat Packing, Immigrants and Rural Communities
�Over the past 45 years, meatpacking has shifted from a predominantly urban to a predominantly�rural industry. Meatpacking plants can represent a significant share of a rural communityâ€™s�employment. As a traditional employer of immigrants, these plants can also alter significantly�the demographic composition of a rural community. These changes have led to numerous�controversies regarding whether these plants impose social or economic costs on their host�communities. This study uses comments culled from various media to identify the most�prominent controversies, including whether meatpacking presence leads to local language�problems, social service expenses, special needs schooling or displacement of native-born�citizens. These controversies can be recast as hypotheses that can be subjected to empirical tests.�We show that the meat processing industry has had large impacts on the demographic�composition of rural communities and their schools including increases in populations requiring�specialized services. However, there is no evidence that the industry increases per capita�government expenditures suggesting that rural communities trade off the economic benefits of�having these large employers against the costs of accommodating the needs of the new residents. ��
|Date of creation:||01 Aug 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, August 2010, vol. 35 no. 2, pp. 299-315|
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- James M. MacDonald & Michael E. Ollinger, 2005. "Technology, Labor Wars, and Producer Dynamics: Explaining Consolidation in Beefpacking," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(4), pages 1020-1033.
- Milton Madison, 2005. "Technological Change and Economies of Scale in U.S. Poultry Processing," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(1), pages 116-129.
- Orazem, Peter F. & Wohlgemuth, Darin & Huang, Tzu-Ling, 2002. "The Causes And Consequences Of Rural Immigrant Population Growth, 1950-1990," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19750, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
- 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.
- Georgeanne M. Artz & Peter F. Orazem & Daniel M. Otto, 2007. "Measuring the Impact of Meat Packing and Processing Facilities in Nonmetropolitan Counties: A Difference-in-Differences Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(3), pages 557-570.
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