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Abstract

The goal of this paper is to better understand how technological change has contributed to structural change in the U.S. livestock industry. The paper presents a cross-sector analysis of the diffusion of improved breeding technologies and industry structure in poultry, swine, dairy and beef cattle. Patterns of technological change are reviewed and compared to the predictions of a standard model of technology diffusion. The results suggest the need for a more dynamic view of technology diffusion. The paper offers several specific observations about technological and structural change in this industry that have relevance for public policy.

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