Agglomeration Economies, Geographical Concentrations and Spatial Structure of the U.S. Livestock Sectors
The U.S. livestock sectors (e.g., fed-cattle, dairy and hog) have undergone significant changes in scale, structure, and geographical location of production. There have been movements to large-scale, specialized production units including fewer yet larger firms, and shifts in the geographical location of production. Traditional production regions have lost in terms of the national share of livestock inventories and farms to the nontraditional production regions. Substantial public scrutiny has fallen upon the livestock sectors because of the increased concerns about environmental quality degradation and concentrations of key production regions in environmentally sensitive areas, which resulted in increased environmental regulations. Agglomeration economies, which can arise because of the external economies of scale, may have also contributed to
the changes in the livestock sectors. The main goal of this project is to examine the role of agglomeration economies, traditional location factors, and environmental regulations in shaping the spatial structure and geographical location of the fed-cattle, dairy and hog sectors.