Network Consequences Due to Oligopolists and Oligopsonists in the Hog Industry, Pollution from Hog Production, and the Failure to Regulate Ecological Criteria

By Hayden, F. Gregory | Journal of Economic Issues, June 2004 | Go to article overview

Network Consequences Due to Oligopolists and Oligopsonists in the Hog Industry, Pollution from Hog Production, and the Failure to Regulate Ecological Criteria


Hayden, F. Gregory, Journal of Economic Issues


Humans have been in a symbiotic relationship with hogs since the time humans became a species. That relationship evolved into a set of transactional (as defined by instrumentalists) processes beginning with the hunter-gatherer tribes. The network of relationships has continued to become more numerous, intense, and complex. Hogs have served in social systems with humans as societal symbols for prowess for numerous groups (with wild boars, for example, on coats of arms in Europe), as religious symbols (both positive and negative), as a source of human disease in the hog-chicken-human cycle for generating flu in Asia, and, more recently, as a source of organs to be transplanted into humans. We usually think of the hog as a proven converter of waste material and low-cost crops into human food and leather. That use of hogs--which has become an inefficient system--is the area of concern here.

This analysis is based on the transactional network of institutional economics, as outlined in figure 1. The purpose is threefold. The first is to review the model of the relationship between the oligopsonistic corporations which slaughter hogs and the farmer-feeder hog producer. The second is to further develop the normative theoretical connection between ecological systems and social institutions ([N.sub.E] in figure 1). Most analysis in ecological economics has concentrated on the impact of socioeconomic institutions on the ecological system. The analysis here emphasizes the delivery of ecological criteria ([N.sub.E]) to institutional organizations from the ecology. Glen Atkinson has emphasized the importance of investigations of real world problems for improving the theoretical base of the institutionalist paradigm (2003, 5). That is a purpose here with regard to [N.sub.E]. The third purpose is to draw policy conclusions about the relationship between the pollution created by the concentrated hog confinement systems of oligopolistic pork processors and the concentrated ownership of the hog production system.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Concentration in the Hands of a Few Corporations

Recently, issues regarding hog production have been controversial in political and judicial arenas in many parts of the world. The most controversial issues have been about how to (1) control the corporate power of pork packers so that packers do not continue to destroy farm-based hog production with prices that are exploitative and too low to cover production costs, (2) prevent the ecological pollution and human health problems created by the large concentrated hog production centers owned by oligopolists, and (3) allow local communities to "zone out" large concentrated hog producers in order to prevent odor, disease, and ecological damage in the local area. After numerous legislative efforts and court decisions, there has been little success.

Thorstein Veblen explained in his Theory of Business Enterprise that the outcome of production processes that are conducted for pecuniary gain has been to disassociate the interests and decisions of business managers from the interests of the community and from productive efficiency. Current corporate hog production and slaughter systems are a confirmation of Veblen's thesis. The current corporate system (1) led to the destruction of farmer feeders due to unequal bargaining positions in the hog market between buyers who are oligopsonists and farmers, (2) implements technology that leads to serious pollution and disease problems, and (3) provides rural communities with low incomes and social problems. Thus, the overarching issue has been the design of production technology that allows for the concentration of ownership and control rather than for community welfare. The concentration engenders large profits that in turn provide for further empire building through investment, acquisition, and political power. Institutionalists have followed Veblen's lead to establish a literature that well defines the functioning of cooperative oligopolies. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Network Consequences Due to Oligopolists and Oligopsonists in the Hog Industry, Pollution from Hog Production, and the Failure to Regulate Ecological Criteria
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.