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Abstract

Processing plants in eight major food industries were highly productive before being acquired and they significantly improved their labor productivity afterward, Economic Research Service and U.S. Census Bureau researchers found in their analysis of Census data. The plant-level data on production inputs and costs provided a detailed picture of food-production facilities involved in mergers and acquisitions. The industries are meatpacking, meat processing, poultry slaughtering and processing, cheese making, fluid milk processing, flour milling, feed processing, and oilseed crushing. The analysis suggests that mergers and acquisitions contributed to the general improvement in labor productivity, echoing an earlier ERS study. Labor productivity is defined as output per worker.

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