Pass-Through in United States Beef Cattle Prices: A Test of Ricardian Rent Theory
Zhao, Huan; Xiaodong, Du; Hennessy, David A.
Empirical Economics (April 2011): 497-508.
Feeder cattle are fattened to become fed live cattle 6 months later, and the feeder cattle stock is fixed in the short-run. Efficiency in competitive markets suggests feeder cattle prices should fully reflect feed prices and information on future fed cattle prices. Employing a long time series (1979–2004) of feeder cattle futures, live cattle futures, and local corn prices, we test whether complete pass-through occurs. For fed cattle futures prices, we find about 93% of complete pass-through to present feeder cattle prices. The corresponding negative effect of a corn price increase is about 87% of complete pass-through. In contrast with imperfectly competitive agricultural land rental markets, the results support the hypothesis of Ricardian rent extraction by the scarce asset owner in feeder cattle markets.
JEL Classification: D4, Q13
Keywords: Cattle futures, Feeder cattle, Live cattlePublished Version