We measure how local growth in meatpacking and processing affects growth in local economies, government expenditures, and crime rates from 1990-2000 in nonmetropolitan counties of 12 Midwestern States. Propensity score matching is used as a check on possible non-random placement of meatpacking and processing plants. Results suggest that as the meat packing industry's share of a county's total employment and wage bill rises, total employment growth increases. However, employment growth in other sectors slows, as does local wage growth. There is some evidence that slower wage growth swamps the employment growth so that aggregate income grows more slowly. We find no evidence that growth in the industry changes the growth rates for crime or government spending.


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