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Abstract

The informational value of USDA's former voluntary price reporting system is investigated for dressed-weight slaughter steers sold by South Dakota producers. The ability of the former system to promote price transparency in the cash market is evaluated using state-level mandatory price reporting data collected from September 1999 to April 2001. The empirical framework examines the informational value of public price reports according to the criteria established in the market integration literature. The empirical results indicate that in the South Dakota cash market for dressed weight steers, the voluntary price reporting system fostered price transparency, and thus contributed to the price discovery process. Empirical evidence is also presented suggesting that strategic price reporting by market participants to influence the voluntary price reporting system was not detected during the period covered in this study.

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