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The Rise of the Chicago Packers and the Origins of Meat Inspection and Antitrust

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  • Gary D. Libecap

Abstract

The Meat Inspection Act of 1891 and the Sherman Act of 1890 are shown to be closely tied. This link makes clearer Congress' intent in enacting the legislation. Both laws were products of conditions in the economy after 1880, and they reflected in part, a common concern about the Chicago packers, or Beef trust. The concerns of local slaughterhouses, which were being displaced by new, low-cost refrigerated beef, and of farmers, who sold their livestock to the large Chicago packers, were echoed elsewhere by other small businesses and farmers, who feared for their competitive positions during a time of structural change in the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary D. Libecap, 1991. "The Rise of the Chicago Packers and the Origins of Meat Inspection and Antitrust," NBER Historical Working Papers 0029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0029 Note: DAE
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    Cited by:

    1. Djankov, Simeon & Glaeser, Edward & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "The new comparative economics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, pages 595-619.
    2. Sukkoo Kim, 2001. "Markets and Multiunit Firms from an American Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 8232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Stewart, James I., 2006. "Migration to the agricultural frontier and wealth accumulation, 1860-1870," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 547-577, October.
    4. Gary D. Libecap, 1998. "The Great Depression and the Regulating State: Federal Government Regulation of Agriculture, 1884-1970," NBER Chapters,in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 181-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Zeynep K. Hansen & Marc T. Law, 2008. "The Political Economy of Truth-in-Advertising Regulation during the Progressive Era," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 251-269, May.
    6. Armelle Mazé & Claude Ménard, 2010. "Private ordering, collective action, and the self-enforcing range of contracts," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, pages 131-153.
    7. Marc Law & Gary D. Libecap, 2006. "The Determinants of Progressive Era Reform. The Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906," NBER Chapters,in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 319-342 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.
    9. Azzam, Azzeddine M., 1998. "Invited Paper: Competition in the US meatpacking industry: is it history?," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 18(2), March.
    10. Azzam, Azzeddine M., 1998. "Competition in the US meatpacking industry: is it history?," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, pages 107-126.
    11. Narrod, Clare A. & Malcolm, Scott A. & Ollinger, Michael & Roberts, Tanya, 1999. "Pathogen Reduction Options In Slaughterhouses And Methods For Evaluating Their Economic Effectiveness," 1999 Annual meeting, August 8-11, Nashville, TN 21562, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    12. Ferrier, Peyton & Lamb, Russell, 2007. "Government regulation and quality in the US beef market," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 84-97, February.
    13. William Shughart & Fred McChesney, 2010. "Public choice theory and antitrust policy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 142(3), pages 385-406, March.
    14. Diana Stuart & Michelle Worosz, 2012. "Risk, anti-reflexivity, and ethical neutralization in industrial food processing," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), pages 287-301.
    15. Maze, Armelle, 2006. "Multilateral reputation mechanisms and contract law in agriculture : complement or substitutes," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21285, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    16. Michelle Worosz & Andrew Knight & Craig Harris, 2008. "Resilience in the US red meat industry: the roles of food safety policy," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), pages 187-191.
    17. Dimitri Carolyn, 2003. "Agricultural Marketing Institutions: A Response to Quality Disputes," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-25, September.
    18. Armelle Mazé & Claude Ménard, 2010. "Private Ordering, Collective Action, and the Self-Enforcing Range of Contracts. The Case of French Livestock Industry," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00624288, HAL.
    19. Steiner, Bodo, 2006. "Governance Reform of German food safety regulation: Cosmetic or real?," MPRA Paper 26252, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Stephen Martin, 2005. "U.S. Antitrust and EU Competition Policy: Where has the Former Been, Where is the Latter Going?," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 27, Departamento de Economia, Gestão e Engenharia Industrial, Universidade de Aveiro.

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