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Abstract

The introduction of vertical coordination in the hog industry has provided producers with new business arrangements for raising hogs. While some researchers have elicited utility functions for hog producers on the basis of income risk, none have addressed autonomy, a factor which appears to be important in business arrangement selection for independent family hog operations. In this study, a method is developed for eliciting a multi-attribute function with attributes of income and autonomy. Utility functions are elicited for a group of Minnesota farrow-to-finish hog producers. For these producers, autonomy dominated risk as the most important attribute in business arrangement selection.

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