NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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

Gary D. Libecap

NBER Historical Working Paper No. 29
Issued in September 1991
NBER Program(s):   DAE

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/h0029

Published: Economic Inquiry, Vol. 30 (1992): 242-262.

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