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Concentration-Price Relations in Regional Fed Cattle Markets


  • Bruce W. Marion
  • Frederick E. Geithman


Since 1977, the U.S. beef packing industry has been restructured at a pace unprecedented in large American industries. By 1987, four packers slaughtered over two-thirds of all steers and heifers. In the thirteen regional feedlot-packer markets studied here, the four leading packers slaughtered 85 percent of fed cattle, on average. The impact of packer concentration on fed cattle prices during 1971-86 was examined using several econometric models. The results generally support the hypothesis that packer concentration was negatively related to live cattle prices. Cattle prices were estimated to be about 3 percent less in the most concentrated region compared to the least concentrated region. There was evidence of a critical concentration of CR4 = 60 in regional livestock markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce W. Marion & Frederick E. Geithman, 1994. "Concentration-Price Relations in Regional Fed Cattle Markets," Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports 025, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:zwi:fpcrep:025

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