Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

Document Type



Over the past decade, the peeling segment of the Louisiana crawfish industry has faced the challenge of remaining competitive in an increasingly global market. Since the mid-1990’s, there has been escalated discussion among Louisiana crawfish processors on the need for a crawfish peeling machine. The International Trade Commission determined that the U.S. crawfish industry had been “materially injured” by the imported tailmeat and ruled China was, in fact, dumping crawfish in the U.S. by selling below fair market value in the host country. The development of a suitable crawfish peeling machine could potentially increase production and lower cost of production, therefore allowing the United States to be more competitive with the imported tailmeat from China. Using conjoint analysis, the preferences of Louisiana crawfish processors in adopting crawfish peeling machines are analyzed. Theses results were based on the various attributes a peeling machine would possess. According to the industry, whether the crawfish peeling machine deveins is viewed as being most important; devein constitutes 30.6% of the total importance. For this study, cluster analysis was used to categorize processors into homogenous groups to bring together crawfish processors with a relatively high similarity in attribute preference. The analysis suggests processors peeling a higher percentage of crawfish tailmeat tended to be grouped into cluster 2, which considered a machine that deveins and retains fat to be the most important. Thirty crawfish processors’ ex-ante adoption rates of hypothetical crawfish peeling machines are assessed using a polychotomous choice elicitation format. Adoption rates are estimated to range from 23 to 70 percent, depending upon the machine and whether it was purchased or leased. Processors most likely to adopt are determined using ordered probit analysis. Greater adopters would be larger and more diversified, have greater current resources, and have longer planning horizons. Early adopters of the machine would benefit from the reduced cost of production before the market becomes concentrated while late adopters would most likely experience lower profits or short-term losses prior to adoption.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Jeffrey M. Gillespie