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Contract Pricing and Packer Competition in Fed Cattle Market

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Abstract

We use a game-theoretical framework to analyze the coexistence of spot and contract markets in the cattle industry. A duopsony scenario with two packers and N feeders is used to reflect the reality in the cattle industry. Our main contribution is to incorporate the risk components and the pricing of hedonic attributes of cattle quality. Our preliminary results show that packers have an incentive to transform bidding strategies in spot markets when a series of hedonic characteristics play some significant roles in establishing cattle prices in contract market. That is, we will show that the effectiveness of contract with TOMP clauses on packer competition in a spot market depends on whether there is a correlation between spot price and hedonic characteristics. The results may shed light on understanding potential effects of captive supplies on market power and may aid in the assessment of the policies designed to enhance competition in the cattle industry.

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