Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)


Demand relationships for many agricultural products have been examined extensively. Supply analysis has received much less attention by agricultural research workers. Yet a knowledge of both demand and supply functions is required for an adequate understanding of the price mechanism. This study explores supply functions for hogs, particularly in relation to recent increased fluctuations in hog prices.

Recurring cycles in the price and production of hogs suggest the validity of a general cobweb theory underlying the hog market. According to the cobweb theory, a decline in demand elasticity and/or an increase in supply elasticity leads to relatively wider price fluctuations, other things being equal. The major hypothesis advanced in this study is that part of the recent increased fluctuations in hog prices are attributable to increases in the supply elasticity for hogs. Objectives of the study are to obtain evidence on the magnitudes and directional shifts in supply elasticities for hogs over time. Interest also centers on developing forecasting equations. To allow estimates of structural changes over time, the analysis is divided into two periods; one period extends from 1924 to 1937, the other from 1938 to 1956.



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