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Agriculture and Antitrust

TAP@Yale seeks to improve our understanding of how agricultural markets—and the different economic models that sustain them—impact both the nature of economic competition and the benefits accruing to consumers in price terms, but also in variety and quality of output, and in innovation. This understanding will help us develop new analysis that can lead to effective antitrust enforcement that protects consumers and content providers in these markets, and also to advance the thinking on regulatory solutions that would enable and protect competitive markets and also monitor conduct to sustain competition.  

TAP disseminates research and analysis conducted by Yale faculty, its own Fellows, students, and research assistants, and also by the partner organizations that house some of our Fellows. Below we present a selection of publications by this group, along with other resources for those wanting to examine agricultural markets through the lens of antitrust, competition policy, and regulation.

TAP Agricultural Reports & Events

Reforming America’s Food Retail Markets Compendium
On Saturday March 12, 2022, we jointly organized a conference with the support and partnership of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on ways to reform America's food retail markets. This compendium features the 20 papers presented at this conference. More information on this conference we can be found on the conference page.

TAP Competition Policy Modules: Agriculture Team

The challenge taken on by TAP students in the 2020–21 school year was to write a series of modules to identify settings where competition is weak or absent and propose policy solutions. The students divided into teams to cover 3 areas: agriculture, finance, and labor. They spoke with researchers and used public information to make arguments about anticompetitive behavior and harm in each sector. The other papers can be found on the "Student Projects" page.

Reforming America’s Food Retail Markets Conference

The Thurman Arnold Project at Yale (TAP@Yale), the Information Society Project (ISP), and the Yale Sustainable Food Program (YSFP) are delighted to invite paper submissions for “Reforming America’s Food Retail Markets.” With the support and partnership of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the conference will explore how antitrust enforcement and competition policy can improve food retail markets in America. The conference will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2022, and a decision will be announced in December if the conference will be virtual or in-person.

Big Ag & Antitrust Conference: Competition Policy for a Sustainable and Humane Food System

The Thurman Arnold Project at Yale (TAP @ Yale) and the Law, Ethics & Animals Program (LEAP) at Yale Law School were delighted to co-host this virtual conference on the role and power of antitrust and competition law and policy in shaping the American food system. The conference was held on  Saturday, January 16, 2021.

Big Meat Acquisition Datasets 

TAP research assistant David Townley scoured resources in the Yale library and public resources to identify all acquisitions made by the largest meatpackers in recent years. As much information about each one as he could find is included in the spreadsheet. The work was finished in September 2021.