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Abstract

In the past 20 years the average scale of hog operations has expanded more than fourfold, and some of the new large-scale hog feeding operations have been opposed by residents in some communities. While the environmental effects of such production have been relatively well studied, less examined are its potential positive effects on local labor markets and economies. Existing estimates based on production-function and input-output analysis imply that each additional 1000 hogs in inventory in a county generates between 3 and 7 local jobs. In this paper we adopt an econometric approach instead, to estimate the effects of changes in hog production on changes in both farm and non-farm outcomes. We find that total county employment increases by less than previously reported, with about two additional jobs being created per 1000 head of hogs in inventory.

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