Muth, Mary K.

By: Muth, Mary K.; Liu, Yanyan; Koontz, Stephen R.; Lawrence, John D.
Information on prices and price risk differences across marketing arrangements aids fed cattle producers in making choices about marketing methods. As part of the congressionally mandated Livestock and Meat Marketing Study, we investigated fed cattle price and price risk differences across marketing arrangements. The analysis uses data representing cattle purchased by 29 large beef packing plants from October 2002 through March 2005. Results indicate that marketing agreements offered the best tradeoff between price level and price risk. Forward contracts had the lowest average yet highly volatile prices. Auction barn prices were higher than other methods but also the most volatile.
By: Muth, Mary K.; Karns, Shawn A.; Wohlgenant, Michael K.; Anderson, Donald W.
Implementation of the Pathogen Reduction and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (PR/HACCP) regulations has occurred across all U.S. meat and poultry plants. A probit model is estimated to determine which factors have affected the probability of red meat slaughter plant exit during implementation of the regulations. While controlling for plant-level, company-level, regional-level, and supply conditions that may affect the probability of plant exit, smaller plants are found to exhibit a much greater probability of exit than larger plants. Other factors affecting plant exit include plant age, market share relative to the degree of market concentration, regional entry rates, and state-level wage rates.
By: Muth, Mary K.; Wohlgenant, Michael K.
We develop a model to measure the degree of oligopsony power in the beef packing industry, while accommodating variable proportions technology, that can be estimated with fewer data requirements. In particular, nonspecialized input quantities, which are often not available, are not needed. Through application of the envelope theorem, we show that the relationship between value marginal product and marginal factor cost can be defined over the prices of the nonspecialized inputs rather than their corresponding quantities. When applied to the beef packing industry, we find no evidence of oligopsony power over our 1967-93 sample period.