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Abstract

The issue of a life cycle has been discussed in the literature but no formal analysis has been shown regarding its duration in agricultural cooperatives, which are a key organizational structure in the United States. The objective is to provide evidence for a life cycle in U.S. agricultural cooperatives and measure the duration of the first three phases. A life cycle analysis is used to categorize historical data on 88 of the top 100 agricultural cooperatives comprising 71% of sales in 2014. The data suggests that marketing cooperatives have a much different life cycle relative to mixed cooperatives who have undergone significant changes since the year 2000.

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