Why a Well Functioning Market Generates Asymmetry of Farm and Wholesale Prices for Hogs and Pork
Metadata[+] Show full item record
Conventional wisdom suggests that weekly prices at farm, wholesale, and retail levels should exhibit symmetry. Observation of asymmetrical price movements is submitted as evidence of the existence and use of "market power" at one or more levels of the market. However, application of economic theory of the market clearing process in a well-functioning, competitive live-stock market shows that weekly prices will move asymmetrically. Studies that confirm asymmetric weekly price movements in farm, wholesale, and retail prices of pork demonstrate that these markets are performing as we would expect well functioning, competitive markets to operate. Claims that evidence of asymmetric weekly (or even monthly and quarterly average prices) is not evidence of market power as claimed by the authors of the studies documenting the asymmetry.
J. Bruce Bullock, "Why a Well Functioning Market Generates Asymmetry of Farm and Wholesale Prices for Hogs and Pork," Department of Agricultural Economics Working Paper No. AEWP 2001-5, November 2001.