OCM Briefing Paper: When Small Is Big

Livestock economists who look only at cash movement and do not analyze profitability outcome sometimes conclude that the effect of market power and captive supplies is “small”. They dismiss this “small” impact lightly, but ignore the fact that the impact they concede is the difference between profit and loss – the economic equivalent of the difference between life and death. The “small” impact of market power and captive supplies has the same life-stifling impact on many producers, as does the difference between healthy and dangerous oxygen levels in a person’s blood. Three (3%) percent can mean life or death.

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