Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Economics and Finance


Donald L. Snyder


This study is an empirical verification of the theories of the economics of information at the cattle producer's market in the U.S. Western Region. Weekly data on producer's price quotations were obtained from CATTLEFAX for 1973 through 1981. The three major objectives of the research are: first, to determine whether price dispersion exists in the cattle producer's market in the Western Region: second, if significant price dispersion are shown to exist, to determine the nature of the regional price distribution; and third, if price dispersion do exist, to determine the implications of the dispersion relative to competitive structure, efficient informational flows, and relative informational content of said distribution.

Price dispersion exists in the cattle producer's market of the Western Region. It is the buyers who "establish" prices and sellers act as price takers. Where heavy trading occurs, information of prices is more efficiently transmitted resulting in a more symmetrical distribution. The composition of the market is relatively stable. however, imperfect information results in splitting the market into high price and low price favoring the better informed.

Utah producers are rational in their pricing decisions. Price dispersion can be attributed to the lag in obtaining price information and asymmetry in efficiency of information gathering.



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