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Market Functions and the Plight of the Northeast Livestock Auction Industry

  • William H. Lesser (a1)


Most economists characterize spot markets as performing two basic functions: price discovery and locational services (which may be subdivided into assembly and sorting). The livestock auction industry in total does not differ from this general characterization since its basic function is to bring buyers and sellers to the place where the animals are being marketed. Thus whether the principal species and class handled in a particular market is feeder pigs or cull beef cows the functions performed at this level of generality are the same. The marketing procedures used are also highly uniform, consisting principally of unloading, sorting, presentation to buyers and reloading, along with the necessary record keeping. As a result there is a tendendy to view this industry as homogenous with some unit cost differences due principally to variation in size.



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Agway, Planning Department. Cull Cow and Calf Marketing Survey. April 14, 1978.
Federal Register. March 30, 1978, pp. 13488–89.
Greene, William H. Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Econometric Frontier Functions. Working paper No. 162, Department of Economics, Cornell University, March 1978.
Kuehn, John P. Cost and Efficiencies of Model Livestock Auctions in West Virginia. Bulletin 606, West Virginia University, Agricultural Experiment Station, December 1971.
Schmidt, P.On the Statistical Estimation of Parametric Frontier Production Functions.” Review of Economics and Statistics, 58 (1975): 238239.
Stoddard, Everett O. An Economic Analysis of Cost of Service and Value of Service Tariffs in the Livestock Auction Industry. Unpublished Ph.D dissertation, University of Maryland, 1975.
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Wilson, E.M. and Kuehn, J.P. A Cost Analysis of the Livestock Auction Markets in West Virginia. Bulletin 600T, West Virginia Universtiy Agricultural Experiment Station, April 1971.
Yager, W.A. and Greene, R.C. Feeding and Marketing Strategies for Cull Cows. Bulletin 698, Montana State University Agricultural Experiment Station, November 1977.

Market Functions and the Plight of the Northeast Livestock Auction Industry

  • William H. Lesser (a1)


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