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More Reasons Why Farmers Have So Little Interest in Futures Markets

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  • Pannell, David J.
  • Hailu, Getu
  • Weersink, Alfons
  • Burt, Amanda

Abstract

The use by farmers of futures contracts and other hedging instruments has been observed to be low in many situations, and this has sometimes seemed to be considered surprising or even mysterious. We propose that it is, in fact, readily understandable and consistent with rational decision making. Standard models of the decision about optimal hedging show that it is negatively related to basis risk, to quantity risk, and to transaction costs. Farmers who have less uncertainty about prices have a lower optimal level of hedging. If a farmer has optimistic price expectations relative to the futures market, the incentive to hedge can be greatly reduced. And finally, farmers who have low levels of risk aversion have little to gain from hedging in terms of risk reduction, in that the certainty equivalent payoff at their optimal hedge may be little different to the certainty equivalent under zero hedging. These reasons are additional to the argument of Simmons (2002) who showed that, if capital markets are efficient, farmers can manage their risk exposure through adjusting their leverage, obviating the need for hedging instruments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 9232.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uwauwp:9232

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Keywords: hedging; risk; risk aversion; flat payoff functions; Agricultural Finance;

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References

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  1. Peter Bardsley & M. Harris, 1987. "An Approach To The Econometric Estimation Of Attitudes To Risk In Agriculture," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 31(2), pages 112-126, 08.
  2. Simmons, Phil, 2002. "Why do farmers have so little interest in futures markets?," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 1-6, May.
  3. Lence, Sergio H. & Hayes, Dermot J., 1994. "Parameter-Based Decision Making Under Estimation Risk: An Application to Futures Trading," Staff General Research Papers 693, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Carter, Colin A., 1999. "Commodity futures markets: a survey," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 43(2).
  5. Simmons, Phil, 2002. "Why do farmers have so little interest in futures markets?," Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 27(1), May.
  6. Holthausen, Duncan M, 1979. "Hedging and the Competitive Firm under Price Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 989-95, December.
  7. Sergio H. Lence & Dermot J. Hayes, 1993. "Empirical Minimum Variance Hedge, The," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 93-wp109, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  8. David J. Pannell, 2006. "Flat Earth Economics: The Far-reaching Consequences of Flat Payoff Functions in Economic Decision Making," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(4), pages 553-566.
  9. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Schmitz, Andrew, 1980. "Futures Markets and the Theory of the Firm under Price Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 317-28, March.
  10. Danthine, Jean-Pierre, 1978. "Information, futures prices, and stabilizing speculation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 79-98, February.
  11. Lapan, Harvey E. & Moschini, GianCarlo, 1994. "Futures Hedging Under Price, Basis and Production Risk," Staff General Research Papers 10041, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  12. Buschena, David E. & Zilberman, David, 1994. "What Do We Know About Decision Making Under Risk And Where Do We Go From Here?," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 19(02), December.
  13. F. Douglas Foster & Charles H. Whiteman, 2002. "Bayesian Cross Hedging: An Example From the Soybean Market," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 27(2), pages 95-122, December.
  14. Anderson, Ronald W & Danthine, Jean-Pierre, 1983. "The Time Pattern of Hedging and the Volatility of Futures Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 249-66, April.
  15. Ronald I. McKinnon, 1967. "Futures Markets, Buffer Stocks, and Income Stability for Primary Producers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 844.
  16. Wei Shi & Scott H. Irwin, 2005. "Optimal Hedging with a Subjective View: An Empirical Bayesian Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(4), pages 918-930.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Trautman, Dawn E. & Jeffrey, Scott R. & Unterschultz, James R., 2013. "Farm Wealth Implications of Canadian Agricultural Business Risk Management Programs," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149881, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Guo, Zhibo & White, Ben & Mugera, Amin, 2013. "Hedge Effectiveness for Western Australia Crops," 2013 Conference (57th), February 5-8, 2013, Sydney, Australia 152154, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  3. Ricome, Aymeric & Chaib, Karim & Ridier, Aude & Kephaliacos, Charilaos & Carpy-Goulard, Francoise, 2012. "The role of cash crop marketing contracts in the adoption of low-input practices in the presence of risk and income supports," 126th Seminar, June 27-29, 2012, Capri, Italy 126222, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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