The meat packing industry has evolved since the 1600's in response to changing technology and demographic forces. Economists' efforts to evaluate the role of competition have similarly evolved over time. This project traced the history of the meatpacking industry and described how it evolved in response to key forces. The researchers also reviewed and critiqued research that attempted to measure the effects of concentration.
After reviewing an extensive body of literature, the researchers concluded that major changes in the meatpacking industry over time have resulted from technological change and rivalry among firms. Previous research on the effects of concentration did not support a finding that the industry is competitive, or that it is uncompetitive. The researchers suggested that future research focus on the process of competition, and competitors' strategies for responding to technological and market forces.
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Figures 5.1 to 5.3
Figures 6.1 to 6.3
Last updated 11/2/06
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