The Rise of the Chicago Packers and the Origins of Meat Inspection and Antitrust

60 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2004 Last revised: 23 Apr 2012

See all articles by Gary D. Libecap

Gary D. Libecap

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management; University of Arizona - Karl Eller Center; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Date Written: September 1991

Abstract

The Meat Inspection Act of 1891 and the Sherman Act of 1890 are shown to be closely tied. This link makes clearer Congress' intent in enacting the legislation. Both laws were products of conditions in the economy after 1880, and they reflected in part, a common concern about the Chicago packers, or Beef trust. The concerns of local slaughterhouses, which were being displaced by new, low-cost refrigerated beef, and of farmers, who sold their livestock to the large Chicago packers, were echoed elsewhere by other small businesses and farmers, who feared for their competitive positions during a time of structural change in the economy.

Suggested Citation

Libecap, Gary D., The Rise of the Chicago Packers and the Origins of Meat Inspection and Antitrust (September 1991). NBER Working Paper No. h0029. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=421763

Gary D. Libecap (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management ( email )

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