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Time-Varying Reaction of U.S. Meat Demand to Animal Disease Outbreaks

AAEA member publish new research in AEPP

New research finds that meat markets react very differently to animal disease outbreaks.

In the new article “Time-Varying Reaction of U.S. Meat Demand to Animal Disease Outbreaks” published in the Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, Yangchuan Wang, Olga Isengildina Massa, and Shamar Stewart from Virginia Tech examine the time-varying reaction of beef, pork, and broiler demand to the mad cow (BSE) and bird flu (HPAI) outbreaks from 1997-2022.

The authors find that “the BSE outbreaks significantly reduced beef consumption. These reactions varied over time, with larger reactions observed around the first BSE outbreak in Q4 2003. On average, the BSE outbreaks reduced per capita beef consumption by approximately 1.280%, or 0.28 lbs/capita, albeit significant only for the first three (3) outbreaks (2003,2005,2006). In general, however, these effects were relatively short-lived and did not extend beyond the affected quarter.

While numerous HPAI cases were identified from 2004 to 2020, the authors show that HPAI outbreaks did not result in a significant contemporaneous reaction in the meat markets (turkeys or eggs were not included in this study). However, they observed a rebound in broiler consumption in the quarter following the increase in HPAI cases by 1.056% and 1.999% (or 0.26 and 0.49 lbs/capita) in Q2 2020 and Q1 2022. These findings point to an essential role in providing timely monitoring information to promote informed decision-making and manage consumer risk perceptions.”

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ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes three journals, the Journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (an open access journal), the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

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