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Abstract

This paper examines the industrialization process of U.S. agriculture by examining the trends in the number of farms, the concentration of production during the last decade, and the dynamics of farm survivability, entry, and exit underlying aggregate statistics. We next examine vertical coordination as part of the industrialization process and highlight contracting in the poultry industry. The analysis provides evidence that production is continuing to be concentrated on a smaller number of farms at a relatively rapid rate, in spite of the stability in the number of farms. Although contracting clearly dominates the broiler industry, it is less prevalent in egg and turkey production, where other forms of vertical coordination are likely established.

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