More Reasons Why Farmers Have So Little Interest in Futures Markets
AbstractThe 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 InfoPaper provided by University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 9232.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
hedging; risk; risk aversion; flat payoff functions; Agricultural Finance;
Other versions of this item:
- David J. Pannell & Getu Hailu & Alfons Weersink & Amanda Burt, 2008. "More reasons why farmers have so little interest in futures markets," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(1), pages 41-50, 07.
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