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Abstract

Conventional evaluations of industry competitiveness tend to focus on a narrow range of production cost variables. Using these criteria, we would expect industries such as the Danish pork industry to be uncompetitive relative to the pork industries of Canada and the United States, given relatively high input costs and legislative limits on farm size for environmental reasons. Yet Denmark accounts for 25 to 30 percent of global pork exports. To explain this apparent paradox, a broader conception of what is meant by “competitiveness” is required. Included in this broader perspective are the effects of transaction costs, vertical supply chain linkages, the policy environment, and competitive pressures, along with traditional measures of production costs and efficiencies. The Danish pork industry provides a useful case study. Recent merger activity within the Danish pork sector has the potential to alter its relative competitiveness.

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