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Abstract

The cost and demand structures of meat products industries in the US and Australia from 1970 to 1991 are examined. Scale economies, technical change and trade impacts and output pricing behaviour are evaluated, using short‐ and long‐run input cost and input and output demand elasticities. The greatest technological impacts stem from large‐scale economies, which are similar across countries. Unit cost savings from output expansion involve capital investment and materials saving in the long run, although input‐specific patterns vary by country. Import competition appears to motivate capital expansion further. Finally, large mark‐ups of price over marginal cost are found, which are consistent with low profits as a result of the underlying scale economies.

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