NAFTA and U.S.-Mexican Beef Trade: Long-Run Implications for Changes in Trade Flows from Technology Transfers

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1997-12-01
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Melton, Bryan
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Economics

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

History
The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

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1898–present

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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Abstract

This study examines potential long-term impacts on the U.S. and Mexican beef industries of the reduction in trade barriers under NAFTA and likely associated international technology transfers (of beef cattle, feeding methods, and meat packing) and foreign capital investments. The beef industry is represented as four subsectors: cow-calf production, post-weaning beef production, meat packing, and leather production. The analysis is accomplished through a multi-sector model of the U.S. and Mexican beef industries, estimation of key parameters, and simulation of long-run outcomes under three alternative scenarios. Our results show that Mexico will dramatically expand the size of its cow herd. The expanded supply and lower post-slaughter processing cost in Mexico give it a comparative advantage in beef production, despite most of the feed grain requirement being met from U.S. exports. Mexico is able to expand its exports of feeder calves significantly when technology is transferred and to become a beef exporter. Beef prices in both countries decrease in real terms. We conclude that U.S. beef producers cannot be optimistic about the long-run potential for beef exports to Mexico but much better prospects exist for U.S. feed grain exports.

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