Artz, Georgeanne M.

August, 2010

By: Artz, Georgeanne M.; Jackson, Rebecca; Orazem, Peter F.
The shift of the U.S. meat packing industry from urban to rural areas has generated controversy regarding potential social and economic costs of meat packing plants on their host communities. This study uses media comments to identify the most prominent controversies regarding meat packing, its largely immigrant workforce, and rural communities. We find that the industry has impacted the demographic composition of rural communities and their schools, but find no evidence that the industry increases per capita government expenditures. Our results suggest rural communities trade off the economic benefits of hosting these large employers against the costs of accommodating needs of new residents.